Manchester United will field a team low on experience in the Europa League dead rubber today, but there are a few senior players available.
Lee Grant will start between the sticks and the club’s official website has confirmed that Jesse Lingard will captain the side in Kazakhstan.
The England international said: “It’s a massive honour. I said at the start of the season I’d like to be more of a leader type of person, on and off the field. You know, being one of the most senior players in the squad. Now is the perfect time to show that.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added: “Jesse will be captain. He’s a really good character in this group. He’s had his challenges over the last few months but he’s coming back into his own now.”
Lingard has his fair share of critics this season, given that he is yet to contribute a goal in any competition, with just an assist against Rochdale in the EFL Cup to his name in 2019/20.
But many supporters on Twitter were supportive of the move, acknowledging that there aren’t too many more experienced names to which the armband could have been handed.
Some wondered why Axel Tuanzebe hasn’t been named skipper, like he was for the aforementioned clash with Rochdale and in the home tie against tonight’s opponents.
Perhaps Solskjaer feels the responsibility will bring out the best in Lingard, and it is a show of faith from the manager towards a player who has struggled badly at times this term.
It is worth a try to see if this can prompt Lingard to raise his game. If he does, it could be a real turning point for him.
- Four lessons learned from Manchester United’s defeat at Liverpool
- Manchester United’s three best players against Liverpool
- Three questions for Manchester United ahead of trip to face Liverpool
- The pressure is on Anthony Martial ahead of Anfield trip
- Sergio Romero’s growing case for United’s number one role