Harry Maguire has today denied suggestions that Manchester United want him to give the captaincy to Cristiano Ronaldo. However, despite that, the England international is still very much in the spotlight. Given his poor performances this term, it would certainly be no understatement to say the 28-year-old has much to prove at the current moment in time.
It’s been a bad season for United, with the club’s hopes of winning the Premier League, Carabao Cup and Europa League already over.
And with things going from bad to worse, there have been reports that the Red Devils want their current skipper to give up the armband.
Maguire has since denied United want to demote him, saying: “I’ve seen a lot of reports about this club that aren’t true and this is another.
“Not going to start posting about everything that is written but I needed to make this one clear.
“We’re united and focused on Sunday. Enjoy your day everyone.”
However, this is one that is likely to rumble on.
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Unless Maguire’s form improves, the United star is set to continually be the subject of speculation over his current title.
Ronaldo is one person to be tipped to take the role, despite the 37-year-old scoring just once from his last seven matches.
However, some within the game have already endorsed the potential appointment of David De Gea instead with the 31-year-old currently operating at the peak of his powers again.
Earlier in the season, Rio Ferdinand expressed a belief that De Gea should be skippering the side.
“David de Gea would have been my choice because of the time he’s been there and he knows what it takes to win,” he said.
“This is all with hindsight but you have to think about these times that might come with someone like Harry Maguire, new at the club in that sense.
“And that added pressure is weighing on him heavily at the moment.”
And Paul Parker has now said similarly, saying De Gea should be United’s leader ahead of both Maguire and Ronaldo.
He told BetfredTV: “I don’t think Harry Maguire should be captain of Manchester United.
“He’s got too much going on in his own game to worry about rather than trying to lead a team which he’d only just joined and in a few seconds gets the captaincy.
“I think that was more off his price tag rather than the side of him as a person, as a leader of men.
“And at the moment I think the one who should be captain is the one they all respect is David De Gea. Because to be a captain you have to respect a player.
“De Gea has to be the most respected player in that United team because he’s the one who’s actually kept them in the position to be fourth in the league at this moment in time.”
De Gea was under consideration to be United captain when Ashley Young departed in January 2020.
But United opted against giving it to the veteran because he’d publicly criticised his team-mates earlier in the year.
Now, the onus will be on to Maguire to show what he’s all about.
On his day, the 28-year-old is certainly capable of being one of the best defenders in world football.
However, he’s not delivered nearly as consistent enough as the club would have liked.
And with calls growing for Maguire to lose his status as captain, he’s never had more of a point to prove.
De Gea said in 2019 that he’d love to be United’s leader one day, saying: “I’ve been captain for some games.
“Of course, it is amazing to be captain of a club like Manchester United and defend this badge.
“It’s amazing, so of course I’ll be really, really happy to be captain.”
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