Bruno Fernandes has been named the new captain of Manchester United after it was revealed that Harry Maguire was stripped of captaincy. The center back was given the role by Ole Gunnar Solskjær back in 2019.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 20, 2023
Why Bruno Fernandes?
He has been a consistent performer for Manchester United throughout his time at the club so far, being one of their standout players since he joined. Fernandes has played a total of 185 games for the club, scoring 64 goals and assisting 54.
Last season he was captain for 45 matches in the 2022-23 campaign due to the fact Maguire was benched by Erik Ten Hag for the majority of the season. So, he already has experience in the role. Moreover, he has shown his leadership qualities within the squad without the armband.
Fernandes has had the role of helping young players that are coming through the ranks of Manchester United. He claimed his goal is to “lead by example” and no matter what age the players are he wants them to “feel part of the family.” Being a leader is something that “comes naturally” to him, something one would want to hear from your new club’s captain.
The impact this change will have
Having a player like Fernandes as club captain shows change is happening within the club, a new era. Maguire’s confidence has been shattered since playing for United. As a result, he is not the same player as before. On the other hand, with Fernandes being a persistent performer for the side, it sets a good example.
Maguire lacked the leadership qualities to push the team forward. As previously mentioned, the Portuguese international possesses the characteristics to captain a side like United. He is hungry to help the club succeed. Plus, having a player that has such ambition is bound to change the energy the squad and fans hold.
United legend’s approval
Former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand added his thoughts about the new change at the club. His advice was “just be you and authentic” – some well-spoken words in support of the decision made by Erik Ten Hag.
What an honour it is to play for @ManUtd but to be given the extra responsibility to lead the team out is something special.
Bruno has delivered numbers & performances throughout his time in a red shirt that make his announcement as captain an inevitable one.
He takes risks, he… https://t.co/yvHaeAUIhs
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) July 20, 2023
He speaks for a lot of fans, as this change seems to have had a real impact on the atmosphere around the club. In reality, this is as big as a new signing, because positive change can create an energy within the club that will take them to the next level in the upcoming campaign.
Will Gary Neville and Roy Keane be happy?
Both former Manchester United players have heavily criticised Fernandes in the past for “going over the top” and “whinging” throughout games. They have both shown gratitude towards his footballing ability, with Roy Keane stating that “he’s brilliant.”
So, it will be interesting to see how they both react to the news of him being the new captain of the club. As the club’s skipper, body language is a key part of keeping your team going, and it has been constantly criticized by both Gary and Roy in the past. Should Fernandes’ body language change on the field, he will surely be a legendary captain for United.