Erik ten Hag has already hinted at who could become Manchester United's next captain

Harry Maguire has been stripped of the armband at Man United
Erik ten Hag has a new captain to select at Manchester United after stripping Harry Maguire of the armband.

The central defender confirmed his time as United's captain had come to an end yesterday after discussions with Ten Hag where the manager outlined his reasons for doing so. It ended a spell of three-and-a-half years for Maguire as United skipper.

The 30-year-old was handed the captaincy in January 2020 by previous boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after only six months or so at the club. He lifted his first trophy as United captain earlier this year with the Carabao Cup victory.

But Maguire saw his game time plummet last season as United as he fell out of favour in the heart of defence. He started just eight games in the Premier League.

Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane has become Ten Hag's preferred central defensive partnership. Maguire has fallen to fifth choice at the back, also behind the likes of Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw.

As Ten Hag opted to leave Maguire out for much of last season, it required another player to take the armband. On many occasions, that turned out to be midfielder Bruno Fernandes.

The Portuguese star is the favourite to take over the United captaincy on a permanent basis. And last season, Ten Hag explained the qualities which makes Fernandes so well-equipped to wear the armband.

"First as captain, he's an example on the pitch with the energy he puts," Ten Hag said as per the Daily Mail in February.

"He is so important for the team in our tactical approach and transition. He's a great example.

"He can match and cope with the load standards that are really high and can take a lot of games. He’s a great example for everyone in the squad."

Who does become United's next captain remains to be seen. But Ten Hag has already given a strong endorsement of Fernandes to be just that on a permanent basis.

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