Why This English International Is A Deserved Candidate For Manchester United’s Captaincy


Manchester United have started the 2016-2017 Premier League season with a bang, three wins out of three must be the perfect start Jose Mourinho would have wished for when taking the job at Old Trafford. After missing out on Europe again last season, Louis Van Gaal was sacked shockingly just a few hours after the United won the FA Cup, in his place, the board decided to bring in the former Chelsea manager. Mourinho came in and got straight into business. The summer has proved to be very successful for the Red Devils, who brought in superstars like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Paul Pogba.

Ibrahimovic, in particular, has been very impressive,scoring three goals in three matches, including a goal in the Community Shield. With so many superstars and their egos to take care, Jose Mourinho could have a difficult task nominating the captain for the side. Although Mourinho has  confirmed that Wayne Rooney will continue as the skipper for the 2016-2017 season, it goes without saying Ibrahimovic could very well have been chosen for that honour as well. The Swede  has not only captained his national team but also clubs like PSG during his time in France.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney

Rooney was given the United captaincy in the summer of 2014 by Louis Van Gaal after the departure of Nemanja Vidic. That summer also there were debates regarding who should be handed the captain’s armband, whether it should be Rooney or Dutch forward Robin Van Persie. There is no doubt that Ibrahimovic is very well qualified to take the armband from Rooney this season, however, with a new manager in charge and a new spine to the team, it would be a wise for Mourinho to keep the former Everton player as his captain.

The fact that Rooney leads out his national team under immense pressure every time, should be validation for his leadership skills. Mourinho has said that Ibrahimovic will be the vice-captain this year, hence there is good chance that he will get named as the captain in the next season. Ibrahimovic should actually prefer this arrangement as this will give him a chance to focus on his football completely in his first season at United. Rooney position in the starting XI is slightly threatened by the arrival of Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan, however, the 30-year-old has been assured by the Portuguese manager that he will be vital to his plans for this season.

With that in mind, it seems logical to name Rooney as the captain for this season, giving Ibrahimovic one full season to settle completely in England.