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Written by Martin Graham | 6 June 2022
Manchester United players have decided to hand the captain over to David de Gea ahead of the new season.
The Red Devils have played the past few seasons without a captain on the field despite the captain’s armband with England defender Harry Maguire.
The burden of the captaincy appears to have taken its toll on the 29-year-old since he acquired it six months into his Manchester United career. His performance began to decline when he became burdened with the responsibility of being the captain of the team on the pitch.
However, it only got worse after England’s unfortunate exit at Euro 2020 which lost the final to Italy on penalties.
It has also been reported that some players were denied the franchise with captain Maguire with several reports indicating some infighting in the team. Fans have long demanded that Maguire be removed from the captaincy.
Their request is now well on its way to being fulfilled with the appointment of Erich Ten Hag as Manager The first major change for the team is to decide on a new captain.
The Dutch manager has reportedly asked the team to choose their new captain, and De Gea, one of the team’s longest-serving members, was the popular decision.
Maguire remains an important member of the team
It is understood that stripping the captain of Maguire is not a move to reduce his role on the team but to make the most popular member of the squad represent the team.
By definition, there is nothing more than Cristiano Ronaldo in football as a whole, but De Gea’s longevity in the squad was the deciding factor for the team members who chose him as their next captain over five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo.
Meanwhile, De Gea has an improved level to thank for his rise to the captaincy after the disappointing 2020/21 season as he played second fiddle to United Academy graduate Dean Henderson.
Having played every game in the 2021/22 season – his eleventh season for the club – in which he won the Premier League title of the month in January, he won the club’s Player of the Year award.
He is on course to make 500 appearances for the Red Devils next season and is one of three players – along with Ronaldo and Phil Jones – to win the Premier League with United, having held the goal in the 2012/13 season.
However, his appointment is not official, as Ten Hag continues to make changes to the team. Besides Ronaldo, candidates Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay to replace Maguire as captain.