Ander Herrera plays down Manchester United captaincy role

Ander Herrera has become the player many wanted him to be under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, a midfielder capable of playing in a defensive role, as a box to box player, or even in a more advanced role. The Spanish midfielder has played that well this season that sections of United’s supporters are calling for him to be the next captain of the club, seeing that he offers a lot more than the likes of Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick or other players who may be tipped to succeed the pair. Carrick is out of contract at the end of the season, not yet being offered a new contract, meaning he could play his last competitive match at Old Trafford on the 21st May 2017 against Crystal Palace, his testimonial in June being his final bow at the Theatre of Dreams.

Wayne Rooney is a player hotly linked with an exit from the club this summer after seeing his stock at United fall dramatically, his presence in matches fall, even more, being the shell of a player once tipped for stardom. Rooney offers little to this United side, the fact he is still the captain is seen my myself as respect for the player who has now become the leading scorer for both club and country, seeing out the remaining days of the season, then maybe moving on to a new club, a new league and a new challenge. United’s captain needs to be on the pitch and Rooney is seldom there, not being selected for many matches, despite United’s rising injuries.

Herrera is a good option to replace Rooney as the captain, but the player has played down the speculation of this happening. Speaking to Onda Cero, Herrera said:

“The thing is that Michael Carrick ends his contract and I do not know what will happen with his future. Rooney, it’s unknown if he will continue or not. It has been a surprise. I am very grateful that people value me like this but I don’t think it is something that is going to happen soon. Being captain of Manchester United are big words. Look at the captains that this club has had. I am flattered and grateful but it is necessary to respect the time and the number of games. Furthermore, as at [Real] Madrid and Barcelona, the captains are Spanish, it’s also logical that there is an English captain. I am grateful that people see me like that but I’d rather not think about it much.”

Just over the last month, Herrera has played some very crucial matches. The 2-0 victory over Chelsea saw him mark Eden Hazard out of the game which effectively saw Chelsea not getting a shot on target throughout the entire match with a surprising United side dominating the match without Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the majority of the game. Herrera assisted the first goal in that match, scoring the second himself, which showed the Spaniard’s ability both on and off the ball. Herrera is a fans favourite, doing his best every time he wears the famous Manchester United shirt, so it is fitting that he is seen as a leader, despite not being given that role on the pitch.

There may be other players in mind for Jose Mourinho to make captain in the summer, I am expecting a clear out of players deemed not good enough, or surplus to requirements as the club would be wrong to hold players back. That could mean an influx of new players coming to the club and a resurgence of youth coming through the ranks to fill the fringe roles, awaiting their chance throughout the season. Selecting a captain will be an important role for Mourinho, it will need to be a player respected by his teammates, one who has not just arrived at the club and one who plays often. The captain will be seen as the player to guide his team through difficult matches, be that authoritative figure both on and off the pitch, a leader of men.

Would Ander Herrera be the best option for United’s captaincy next season? With the uncertainty of some players not being at the club, he would be one of the best options, maybe with Juan Mata, David De Gea (should he remain at the club) and maybe even Paul Pogba. Aside from those names, who else could do the job required? I am sure people will be quick to add the likes of Chris Smalling and maybe even Phil Jones being that they are two of the longest-serving players at the club currently, but their injury records may speak for themselves, ruling them out, possibly. Who do you think the next Manchester United captain should be? Let us know in the comments below.

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