Bruno Fernandes is the frontrunner to become Man Utd’s next captain (Photo: Getty)
Graeme Souness does not believe that Bruno Fernandes can captain Manchester United, saying he ‘is obviously not a leader’.
Fernandes has become United’s de facto skipper under Erik ten Hag with club captain Harry Maguire spending more time on the bench than on the pitch.
With the centre-back expected to leave Old Trafford this summer, the manager will need to select a new captain and Fernandes appears to be prime candidate.
Perhaps the Red Devils’ best player from the last decade, the attacking midfielder has been in great form this campaign, with his 11 goals and 14 assists helping the club win the Carabao Cup as well as reach the verge of Champions League qualification and the FA Cup final.
However, some have questioned whether his attitude and temperament are befitting of such a demanding role like captaining United.
This came to the forefront during United’s humiliating 7-0 loss at arch-rivals Liverpool in March, where the 28-year-old was slated for his consistent moaning, arm waving and asking to be subbed off.
Souness believes this episode is proof enough that Ten Hag should give the armband to someone else, telling William Hill: ‘Bruno Fernandes is obviously not a leader, it’s as plain as the nose on the end of your face.
Graeme Souness captained Liverpool in the early 1980s (Photo: Sky Sports)
‘His attitude when they went 3-0 down at Liverpool was appalling. You certainly would not want to be in the trenches with him.
‘When you become a captain of a football team it’s about setting an example on the pitch and off it. To have a successful football club, you need good senior players and professionals.
‘I look at myself when I walked through the door in Liverpool, how I changed in the seven years I was there, and what I was like when I left. I wasn’t the best player when I walked through the door, but I learned from some very serious football players, and seven years later when I become a senior, I like to think that I passed that information on.
‘In the case of Bruno, you’ll see him be a star when you’re on top of the opposition and on the front foot, and he can be a real talent, but he showed a side to him that day at Anfield which was very unattractive.
‘Erik ten Hag has then chosen to overlook it because he knows going forward that Bruno will win him games and score goals. But he’ll think, the next time he comes up against a really difficult situation, is he going to go missing? I think he already knows the answer to that.’
Fernandes has already hit back at pundits like Gary Neville and Roy Keane, and will now look to prove Souness wrong when United travel to Brighton on Thursday night.
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