Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag is reportedly considering replacing Harry Maguire as captain of the club for the 2022-23 campaign.
Maguire struggled for form last season, and while he is believed to be in the plans of Ten Hag moving forward, the England international’s position as skipper of the English giants is far from certain.
According to The Mirror, the club’s new head coach will soon meet with the 29-year-old to discuss his position at the club, and there is a chance that a change could be made.
With that in mind, Sports Mole picks out three players that could potentially be appointed the team’s new skipper for the 2022-23 season.
Bruno Fernandes committed his future to Man United by signing a new long-term contract in April, and he is expected to be a key part of Ten Hag’s plans at Old Trafford.
The 27-year-old has proved to be an impressive signing for the Red Devils, scoring 50 goals and registering 39 assists in 126 appearances since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.
Fernandes was often handed the captain’s armband in Maguire’s absence last term and was the skipper in four of Man United’s final five matches of the 2021-22 Premier League campaign.
The Portugal international struggled for consistency throughout the season, but he has proved himself to be a leader and certainly commands respect among his teammates.
Having also captained Sporting before his departure, Fernandes is used to the responsibility, and he will be surely considered by Ten Hag if there is a change of skipper for the new season.
David de Gea has now been with Man United for 11 years, making 486 appearances for the club in all competitions since arriving from Atletico Madrid in July 2011.
The Spain international’s form dipped during the 2020-21 campaign, but he was back to his best last term, putting in a string of impressive performances during a disappointing season for the club.
De Gea would not be the most vocal of captains, but he would lead by example and would be a popular choice among the players at Old Trafford due to his standing at the club.
Whether Ten Hag wants his goalkeeper to be the captain remains to be seen, but the Spaniard was not afraid to speak out against Man United’s performances last term.
The goalkeeper is out of contract next summer, although the club have the option to extend the agreement for another year, and there have been claims that he could soon pen a new long-term deal.
Somewhat surprisingly, Ronaldo only captained Man United on one occasion during the 2021-22 campaign, sporting the armband for the 1-0 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the start of January.
The 37-year-old is perhaps the most obvious choice to replace Maguire, though, considering his vast experience and leadership qualities that he has demonstrated throughout his career.
There has recently been speculation surrounding his future at Old Trafford, with the club failing to qualify for the 2022-23 Champions League.
However, if the Portugal international decides to remain at Old Trafford, then it would certainly not be a surprise to see him appointed as the new skipper of the team.
There was believed to be a power struggle in the dressing room last term between Ronaldo and Maguire, with the forward’s arrival making it difficult for the skipper to assert control.
However, Ronaldo would surely relish the chance to lead Man United into the Ten Hag era, and it could also convince him to remain at Old Trafford for at least another year.