Which players could replace Harry Maguire as Man Utd captain?

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia 14 Jun 2022 23:00 BST 3 min read
Harry Maguire, Man Utd, 2021/22

Harry Maguire is set to meet new boss Erik ten Hag for talks over his future as Manchester United captain.

The 29-year-old endured a disastrous season in defence for United and committed a host of errors leading to his side posting their worst ever points total in Premier League history.

Maguire was the subject of criticism and abuse from a section of fans throughout the campaign and the England defender was under pressure from some supporters to step down as captain.

Ten Hag is not expected to make any decision on the captaincy prior to meeting with Maguire, with United's international players due to take an extended holiday before pre-season.

Is Harry Maguire in danger of being replaced as captain?

Maguire is thought to be desperate to retain the captaincy but he could lose out on the captaincy with certain figures appearing more suitable for the role.

Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo is an obvious candidate for the captaincy having also worn the armband in 2008 during his first spell at the club.

The 37-year-old is one of the most high-profile players in the world and understands his role at the club, although teammates have reportedly been put off by his leadership and motivational methods.

Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes wore the armband under interim boss Ralf Rangnick whenever Maguire was absent and is effectively considered the club's vice-captain.

However, the Portuguese midfielder also underperformed this season and as often displayed petulance and dissent not suitable for a captain.

Long-serving goalkeeper David De Gea is also considered a frontrunner for the role having been at Old Trafford since 2011 and overseeing the club throughout its turbulent recent history.

Another contender is experienced defender Raphael Varane, who joined United last summer from Real Madrid where he occasionally captained the side, however his injury concerns means he has yet to truly stamp his mark on the team.

Maguire was appointed the captaincy in 2020 just five months after becoming the most expensive defender in the world following his £80 million move from Leicester.

It is felt by some that relieving Maguire of the captaincy would allow him to focus on his football without the added pressure in the hope of him recapturing his best form.