Dwight Yorke believes Bruno Fernandes may have already been told he will replace Harry Maguire as ’s permanent captain.
Maguire was dropped from the United starting XI by Erik ten Hag following the dismal season opening defeats to Brighton and Brentford, with Lisandro Martinez and now the manager’s firm first-choice pairing.
His chances of forcing his way back into the side were hampered by a hamstring injury suffered on international duty with England with the former unavailable for United’s last seven games.
As a result of Maguire’s absence, both enforced and a result of being dropped, Fernandes has captained the side.
While the attacking midfielder’s goal return has come under scrutiny, ten Hag has been full of praise for his ‘massive role’ in the side.
Yorke, part of United’s infamous Treble-winning side, believes Fernandes is thriving with the responsibility and suggests conversations over him taking the armband permanently have already taken place.
He told : ‘Before he was the stand-in captain, which wasn’t a problem. I think with the Maguire scenario, looking from the outside in at the club without knowing all the details, I think he’s been told he’s going to be the captain going forward.
‘When a manager tells you something like that, then that weight comes off. So now he’s thinking, ‘right, this is my new role’.
‘That clarity is good for the team and enables him to go out and do what he needs to do.
‘Obviously, I wouldn’t expect this to be an official announcement this season with Maguire at the club, but perhaps the manager has had a word with him and that has given him the confidence he needed as a player.’
Maguire is back in training this week, a timely boost for ten Hag who will be without Varane for the run of games leading up to the World Cup break.
The France international left the Stamford Bridge pitch in tears after picking up a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.
Reports suggest however the 29-year-old still stands a chance of recovering in time for France’s campaign in Qatar.
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