Harry Maguire’s tenure as Manchester United captain has been heavily scrutinized in the past, and one Red Devils icon believes he is on the verge of being removed.
Dwight Yorke, a former Manchester United player, has claimed Erik ten Hag has already informed Bruno Fernandes that he would take over as Red Devils captain from Harry Maguire.
The much-maligned Maguire has worn the armband since his transfer from Leicester in the summer of 2019 but has yet to achieve the heights many expected of him. The defender’s form has deteriorated to the point where he has been replaced in the starting eleven by Raphael Varane, who has paired with Lisandro Martinez for the majority of the season.
Maguire’s attempt to re-enter Ten Hag’s plans was thwarted when he suffered a hamstring injury while representing England. As a result, he has not been included in the matchday squad for the last seven United games.
In his absence, Fernandes has taken over as captain, and while he isn’t scoring as much as he used to, the Portugal international has received praise from his manager, who is pleased with the “huge responsibility” he has taken on.
Fernandes has certainly attracted Yorke’s attention since taking over as stand-in captain, and the triple-winner claims Ten Hag has already addressed the notion of the 28-year-old carrying the armband on a full-time basis with the player himself.
He explained to Lord Ping: “Previously, he [Fernandes] served as the stand-in commander, which was not a problem. Looking from the outside in at the club without knowing all the circumstances, I believe Maguire has been told he will be the captain going forward.
“When a manager says anything like that, the weight is lifted. So he’s thinking to himself, ‘Right, this is my new role.’ That clarity benefits the team and allows him to go out and do what needs to be done.
“Obviously, I don’t expect there to be an official announcement this season with Maguire at the club, but perhaps the manager spoke with him and gave him the confidence he needed as a player.”
Maguire’s return to the first-team fold is likely this week, which comes as a major relief to Ten Hag after Varane hobbled out of Saturday’s 1-1 draw away at Chelsea.
The Frenchman staggered off the pitch in tears, apparently worried about his fitness with the Qatar World Cup less than a month away.
With Varane going to be out for the next few games, Maguire may see the upcoming schedule as an opportunity to redeem himself in the eyes of his manager.