Wayne Rooney on Harry Maguire's Man Utd form
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There’s currently a split at Manchester United over whether Harry Maguire should be their captain, according to reports. The England international has struggled for consistency this term and, with Erik ten Hag poised to take over, Ralf Rangnick has suggested players vote on their skipper. Maguire will miss tonight’s match with Chelsea through injury.
Manchester United made Maguire captain shortly after the departure of Ashley Young to Inter Milan back in January 2020.
Yet the England international has often struggled for consistency in the time since, with the player’s form dropping off alarmingly ever since the arrival of Rangnick as manager.
Rangnick has hinted that he wants players to vote for their new skipper, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes in contention to replace Maguire in the role.
And The Sun say there’s currently a ‘split’ at the club when it comes to the issue.
Some will want United to stand by Maguire and give him backing, especially with the former Leicester star in desperate need of a turnaround in form.
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But others will believe the Red Devils need somebody fresh as they gear up for the start of yet another new era.
Maguire recently dropped to the bench for their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, with Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof picked instead.
Yet he’ll be watching on from afar tonight when United lock horns with Chelsea at Old Trafford looking to keep their slim hopes of Champions League qualification next season alive.
Maguire is one of six players missing for the showdown.
Jadon Sancho has tonsillitis, with the former Borussia Dortmund star previously netting against Chelsea earlier in the campaign.
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And Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Fred and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are all doubts for the contest as well.
With that being the case, Lindelof and Varane are expected to make up Rangnick’s preferred centre-back pairing.
But United’s disappointing season so far, coupled with Chelsea’s formidable squad under Thomas Tuchel, means hopes of a victory appear to be slim.
Speaking before the game, Rangnick opened up on his belief that United players should vote on their next captain.
When asked if he’d recommend Maguire to be skipper under Ten Hag, he said: “I understand your question but again it doesn’t make sense because we don’t know what kind of players will be here, what the group will look like.
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“I can only tell you what I have done in the past when I was head coach or manager because in Germany it’s called ‘Mannschaftskapitan’ — the captain of the team.
“I strongly believe the captain should be elected by the team because he’s called the team manager and we always did that, we always had a board of four or five players.
“We called it the ‘Spielerrat’ [players’ council] — elected by the players.
“The player with the highest amount of votes was the team captain at the end. That was how I did it.
“I know a lot of head coaches don’t do it that way. That’s what I would do if I was still the manager next season but in the end I’m not. This is something that Erik will have to decide.”
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And Rangnick is hoping United can lift some of the doom and gloom mood that’s engulfed their season.
“Obviously if results are not going well, and we have lost three of the last four games, the morale, energy in the locker room isn’t as good as it would be,” he said.
“Still we have to perform, this is what we’re getting paid for.
“It’s important for the players, knowing new manager is coming in, to show we are able to beat a team like Chelsea, this is our job, this is what everyone has to do and this is what we have been working for.”
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