There are increased calls from fans for Manchester United defender Harry Maguire to get a rest this weekend.
Maguire has been out of sorts to start the season and this led to him getting a red card for England in midweek.
The reasons for Maguire’s drop in form are varied, including being overplayed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and it may be time for the centre-back to take a short mental and physical break.
This does ask questions, including who starts in his place and who takes over the captaincy.
There should only be one choice as captain
Solskjaer could stick two fingers up at everybody by making a call for Bruno Fernandes to wear the armband.
Reports this week made on Duncan Castles’ podcast alleged Fernandes had lost faith in Solskjaer.
Fernandes hit back, quoted by Goal.com: “I believe it is a way to destabilise the group. What was said is in no way true.”
Solskjaer can then send a strong message by sending Fernandes out as captain for Saturday’s game with Newcastle.
Fernandes is as strong a choice as anybody, with his passion shining through when he plays for the club.
While possible he could be rested for Donny van de Beek to start, this is unlikely if Maguire is rested, with United requiring leadership.
Fernandes’ passion is needed, and United need inspiration. Giving him the captaincy in Maguire’s absence would be a smart call.
The other candidates
United have a couple of alternatives, but none as compelling as giving the armband to Fernandes.
David de Gea, in goal, could get the nod due to his experience. Paul Pogba also, may feel he has earned the chance to captain the club, having been at the club longer than Fernandes.
Marcus Rashford also is a leader in the dressing room and off the pitch who will one day captain the club, that’s for certain.
But right now, at this moment, it is set up perfectly for Fernandes to fill in.
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