Harry Maguire was club captain at Manchester United but Bruno Fernandes has captained more of the Premier League this season, with the defender struggling for game time.
Erik ten Hag has been pushed to permanently remove Harry Maguire as Manchester United captain, as he continues to battle for game time.
The Dutchman confirmed in the summer that Maguire would remain captain for his first season in charge at Old Trafford. But the centre-back has made just seven Premier League appearances this season, with Ten Hag preferring pairings Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.
Instead, Bruno Fernandes has taken up the captain’s armband, impressing in his role with United on track for a successful season. But when Maguire came on as a substitute, he was inclined to take the captaincy off Fernandes.
That has been booed by United legend Paul Parker, who now believes Maguire should be stripped of the captaincy on a permanent basis. And he insisted that Maguire’s career as a top-level player was over.
“To be honest, the situation with Harry Maguire is embarrassing right now. The way he took the captain’s armband from Bruno Fernandes was pathetic. He should never have done that,” Parker told Mybettingsites.
“Erik ten Hag needs to make a decision now to take the captain’s armband from Maguire once and for all. But I’m not sure he will find a new club in January. It will be very difficult for a sporting director to convince fans that he is a good signing at any club.
“Maybe he can go out on loan but then it will be a small team from the bottom of the league. He can’t play for top teams like Man City, Liverpool or Newcastle because they defend with a high defensive line.
“He needs to play for a low–blocking defensive team because he is too nervous and too slow to play for a big club. But I think he’s quite happy at Man United and most likely he will stay and enjoy his time on the bench because he knows that other clubs will pull out of Man United.”
Ten Hag has hinted that Fernandes could take the captain’s armband permanently. The midfielder has been a key player since the Dutchman took over and has earned high praise from his manager.
“I think he is an example. That is also the reason why he often wears the captain’s armband. It shows in his energy,” Ten Hag said last week when asked about Fernandes’ role in his squad.
“He’s very good in transition, both of them, and that’s one of the key elements in football today. He’s very good at that and he brings a lot of quality in that part of the game. The team is very happy with him and I’m very happy to be happy with him.”