Manchester United

Erik ten Hag backed to give Manchester United captaincy to new summer signing

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag should sign a player this summer and immediately make him club captain, according to former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy.

Current skipper Harry Maguire received strong criticism for his performances last season and Murphy thinks he should be replaced by a new face.

Ten Hag has a big task on his hands to turn around the fortunes of United. There have been issues on and off the pitch at Old Trafford and the Dutchman must bring together a disjointed squad.

He is set to be busy in the summer transfer market. Murphy says it is vital Ten Hag has the right captain in place to lead the project and says making a new signing skipper would be a good start to overhauling the previous regime.

He said on talkSPORT: “I don’t think it should be set in stone, but I think in this particular occasion this is a very important decision from United moving forward and not one that should be taken lightly. I certainly don’t think he should be leaving that position to the players.

“I think what you could do is you could leave it as it is to give himself a bit of time to make the right decision. My feeling is sometimes the best thing to do for a new manager is to give the captaincy to a player he knows and trusts who he brings in.

“Who he brings in from the outside. [Donny van de Beek] is already there and he’s not played enough, so that would be a bit farcical.

“But if you bring in a leader, you bring in someone and you go ‘you’re the captain as well’. You’re kind of together then.”

Meanwhile, Murphy earlier claimed Ten Hag may not be the right manager for United. He instead said England boss Gareth Southgate would have been a better appointment.

Murphy said: “What United need now isn’t all about on the pitch. They’ll be judged on that but initially what do United need?

“They need someone to bring together this squad and to try and create a unity and an atmosphere and an energy that England have. I think that would be fair.

“I think what Ten Hag has done is of course credible, winning the league three or four times at Ajax, did alright at Utrecht, but he’s not managed big players at a big club so we don’t know how he’s going to deal with that pressure. Every part of his life is going to be magnified.

“Whether he goes to the wrong shop at the wrong time, whether he drives the wrong car, everything he does is now going to be talked about.”



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