Manchester United’s captaincy is up in the air with Wayne Rooney’s future uncertain.
The Englishman, who wore the armband last season, has been linked with a move away after failing to impress under Jose Mourinho.
His former boss Sven Goran Eriksson has recently welcomed him to the Chinese Super League, as reported by the Mirror.
With Rooney linked with an Old Trafford exit, The Boot Room looks at three candidates to take the armband ahead of next season.
The Spaniard, who joined from Athletic Bilbao, has become a fan favourite at Old Trafford during his time with the club and, after impressing last season, could be in with a shout for the captain’s armband.
The all-action midfield is a leader on the pitch, pushing his team on through his terrier-like work rate while also displaying tactical know-how. Against Ajax, in the Europa League final, the midfielder told Henrikh Mkhitaryan to get in the box for a corner after watching the Armenian linger outside the area. Little did the former Borussia Dortmund man know that he would end up getting on the scoresheet thanks to his teammate’s advice.
Under Mourinho, Herrera made 31 league appearances, bettered only by Rashford and David de Gea, with 32 and 35 games played, respectively. The Spanish midfielder also furthered his bond with the United faithful by executing an excellent man-marking job on Chelsea’s Eden Hazard during their 2-0 win. If he was to become captain, there’s not many that would complain.
Currently the vice-captain, Michael Carrick is a worthy candidate for the captain’s armband due to his service and influence at the club. The England international recently had his testimonial at Old Trafford and is set to stick around for another year.
Despite having a reduced role in the side, making only 23 league appearances, 60% of those were full 90-minute games. The 35-year-old’s calming presence in United’s side gives them a basis to build from and the midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Herrera and Carrick looked assured and balanced.
The Englishman was the most accurate midfielder with an 89% pass accuracy. His ability to find his man from both short and long distances gives United a different dimension and, with the captain’s armband, he would certainly lead by example.
The winger-turned-fullback hasn’t always been held in high esteem at Old Trafford. However, he is like a fine wine, getting better with age.
At 31 years of age, it could be argued that he had his best season in a United shirt last campaign. His displays at right-back portrayed his power and work rate perfectly as he bombed up and down the touchline.
The Ecuador international was a mainstay in United’s side, playing 26 full league games, while others needed resting due to the the club’s hectic schedule.
The display of professionalism and versatility has brought him closer to United’s fan base, so much so he could end up captaining the side next season. He’s already had a taste of the armband too, leading his side in the Europa League final.
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Originally posted on The Boot Room.