Bruno Fernandes Manchester United 2022-23Getty

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag explains why he chose Bruno Fernandes as captain after stripping Harry Maguire of armband

  • Fernandes is new Man Utd captain
  • Ten Hag explained decision
  • Also insisted that Maguire is "important" to the team

WHAT HAPPENED? The Red Devils have announced that the Portuguese midfielder will be the club's captain for the coming season. Fernandes was already wearing the armband for the bulk of the last season as Harry Maguire struggled to nail down a starting berth.

Ten Hag labelled him as an "example" and "mirror" for many players to follow and believes that the 28-year-old is a "leader" who guides and builds the team.

WHAT THEY SAID: "A good team is always covering areas as leaders, team players, multi-functional players, specialists, individualists. But you need some leaders in the team, on the pitch, who are guiding the team, who are building the team, who are controlling the quality of the performance. And one has to wear the [arm]band and we chose, I chose, Bruno because he is a great inspiration. He is the example," he told the official club media.

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"He always wants to be a better football player, working very hard to give his maximum performance. So he is the mirror for many players and he is a good social connector. He is also very good at game understanding. So, for a manager, it's very good to have that intermediary on the pitch. So those are some reasons, but he can't do it alone. We need more help. We need more leaders to have a strong bond and who can point a team in the right direction," he added.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ten Hag also addressed the situation of Maguire after the defender was stripped of the captaincy. The Dutch tactician stressed that he remains "important" to the team but must "fight for his place".

"We respect Harry. Harry's very important for this squad, for this team. And, you know, in his role as centre-back, we have four centre-backs. I talked about consistency and we know we can't do it with 11 players and so I'm happy we have four very good centre-backs. And we will need them, and he has to fight for his place, as he did last year. He has a high potential so I'm sure he will do it, he will fight for his place and then it's up to him," he said.


Bruno Fernandes Harry Maguire Manchester United 2022-23GettyErik ten Hag Manchester United 2022-23Getty

WHAT NEXT? Fernandes will make his bow as the full-time United captain against Arsenal on Saturday.