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“Roy Keane’s Surprising Suggestion: Is it Time for Manchester United to Reconsider Bruno Fernandes’ Captaincy?”

Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane has urged Erik ten Hag to reverse his decision to name Bruno Fernandes team captain.

When previous captain Harry Maguire was demoted to a bit-part position under Ten Hag, the Portuguese playmaker took over the armband multiple times during the 2022-23 season.

Maguire lost captaincy responsibilities to Fernandes for the 2023-24 season after being demoted to the club’s fourth-choice center-back, although the 29-year-old’s first few months as the club’s on-field leader have been disappointing.

From 13 matches as captain this season, Fernandes has led Man United to six wins and seven losses, coming up with two goals and three assists in the process, and the Red Devils eased to a 3-0 EFL Cup success over Crystal Palace without him.

Raphael Varane donned the armband that day as Fernandes warmed the bench, and the former Sporting Lisbon man – like most of his teammates – was largely anonymous in a Manchester derby mauling on Sunday afternoon.

Erling Haaland’s brace and a Phil Foden tap-in saw Manchester City stroll to a richly-deserved 3-0 win at Old Trafford, where Ten Hag’s team were outplayed on their own patch and only showed brief flickers of life in attack.

Fernandes did manage to create two chances and register two shots on the night, but he was dribbled past four times, committed three fouls and also picked up a booking during a forgettable performance.

Speaking to Sky Sports News after watching his former club be torn to shreds, ex-Man United captain Keane lambasted Fernandes for his constant “whinging”, stating that he is the opposite of what a captain should be.

“Today having watched him again I would take the captaincy off him 100 per cent. I know it’s a big decision, obviously they changed the captaincy with Maguire, but Fernandes is not captain material,” Keane said.

“He is a talented player no doubt about it. But what I saw today – we’ve discussed many times before, it was last season at Liverpool – his whinging, his moaning and throwing his arms up in the air constantly

“It’s simply not acceptable. Based on what we observed today, I believe I would remove it from him. You must begin somewhere. We were discussing where to begin [solving problems] – the manager, the board level.

“I’d start there because the manager is capable of doing so.” Fernandes is a fantastic footballer, but he is the polar opposite of what I would want in a captain.”

Fernandes’ injury-time warning at Old Trafford means the 29-year-old is now one yellow card away from a Premier League suspension, which would force Ten Hag to make a difficult choice over who should wear the armband.

Fernandes has scored 66 goals since joining the Red Devils from Sporting in 2020.

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