Raphael Varane praises Erik ten Hag for Manchester United captaincy change
Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has praised Erik ten Hag for the captaincy change at the Old Trafford side after stripping Harry Maguire.
The England international had the armband since 2020 after the departure of Ashley Young to Inter Milan. However, with the 30-year-old’s influence dwindling under Erik ten Hag last season, Bruno Fernandes will lead the team out officially from now on.
Speaking to ESPN regarding the situation, Varane called the gaffer fearless for making such a big decision. The French national believes the Dutch manager has led by example in the saga.
“He wants a team with character and he’s the leader so he has to show it himself. He’s not scared to take these decisions and take that responsibility. That is what we expect from the manager. He did it so I think, with things like this, you show by example.”
Maguire signed for the Red Devils from Leicester City in the summer of 2019. A few months into his stint at the Old Trafford side, he was named team captain.
The English national had a decent start to life at United. Unfortunately, his performances have left a lot to be desired for some time now. Therefore, it was unsurprising to see Ten Hag drop the 30-year-old to the bench in the previous campaign.
Varane and Lisandro Martinez were the gaffer’s preferred duo at the back. The 30-year-old French national and the World Cup-winning Argentine arguably made a case in the 2022/23 term to be handed the armband.
Casemiro also emerged as one of the Red Devils’ leaders last season. The Old Trafford side struggled to find positive results in the Brazilian’s absence. However, Fernandes feels like the right choice.
The Portugal international was the de-facto captain in the previous campaign, as Maguire was often not picked in the starting lineup. Also, the 28-year-old has been at the club for many years and has showcased great desire on the pitch on most occasions.
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Ten Hag has stamped his authority at United over the last year. Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford were punished last season for disciplinary reasons. Hopefully, the Dutch manager will be able to take the Old Trafford side back to its glory years.