Why Lisandro Martinez signing should signal end of Harry Maguire captaincy at Manchester United

After completing the signing of Tyrell Malacia, Manchester United are looking to sign another defender.

A move for Lisandro Martinez for £40 million is a priority, with The Mirror reporting talks were held with Ajax over the weekend.

This would be an important move to strengthen United’s defence, which conceded 58 goals in 38 league games last season. Ten Hag’s Ajax conceded just 19 goals in 34 games.

Signing Martinez could also signal the end of Harry Maguire’s captaincy at the club, which is a topic under the spotlight after last season.

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Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Martinez signing should signal end of Harry Maguire captaincy

The one prerequisite for a club captain is that he should be a first choice starter. If Lisandro Martinez signs, then this will apply to Maguire no more.

Martinez is not signing to be a back-up; he won’t be an automatic first choice either, and that’s the point, nobody should be or will be.

United will have Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof all to choose from, four strong centre-back options who will all have a role to play next season.

As far as his first choice goes, new boss Erik ten Hag will have an open mind, and this is why the captaincy has to be removed from Maguire.

Keeping the armband on Maguire could influence selection policy in the England international’s favour, and even if not, there is a fair chance he is left out frequently, with a Martinez and Varane partnership likely to be favoured by supporters at least.

A captain should be a consistent pick, and with United’s backline likely to change frequently over the first few months of the season, with Premier League and Europa League matches, Maguire won’t fit this specification.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

So who will take over as United captain?

A logical choice before this week would have been Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s possible United still try and appease Ronaldo if he stays, by giving him the captaincy.

Taking Ronaldo out of the equation, as United may have to, there should be two obvious choices. One is Bruno Fernandes, who has captained the club before.

While he won’t start every game, nobody will, and his role is clearly defined. As a two-time United player of the year winner, he has the respect of his teammates, and he would be a good choice.

The best option, however, may be goalkeeper David de Gea. The Spaniard is the undisputed first choice now, with Dean Henderson gone, and he will start nearly every game.

As United’s reigning player of the year, and the club’s longest serving player, De Gea deserves this opportunity.

Harry Maguire could really benefit from the pressure of the captaincy being taken away, allowing him to focus on his own game. This will give him the best chance of actually earning a spot in the line-up, amid fresh competition.

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