English defender Harry Maguire was stripped of the Manchester United captaincy by Erik ten Hag on Sunday - with Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes set to take the armband

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Football Digest: Harry Maguire stripped of Man Utd captaincy

Bruno Fernandes is expected to be named the new Manchester United captain - and he has previously opened up on his reaction to being given the famous armband.

The Portugal international, 28, has undoubtedly been one of United’s best players since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020. He made an immediate impact by scoring an astonishing 40 goals from midfield in his first 18 months at Old Trafford.

His leadership skills were quickly recognised by his first manager at United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and he was handed the armband for a Champions League clash in October 2020. Speaking at the time, Fernandes admitted his reaction to the news was “funny” because he didn’t expect to receive the honour so soon in his United career.

Fernandes’ rise at Old Trafford should come as no surprise, as he was Sporting’s captain before his exit. His former manager at Udinese, Andrea Stramaccioni, even backed the playmaker to become United’s full-time skipper as early as August 2020.

Fernandes scored the opening goal during his debut as United’s skipper, helping them win 2-1 at Paris Saint-Germain. Speaking to United’s website before the game, he was asked what his reaction was when Solskjaer informed him of the captaincy.

Fernandes, who has gone on to play 185 games for United, said: “My reaction was funny because I wasn’t expecting to be the captain, of course. I found out in the press conference and it was funny because I wasn’t expecting that but I’m really happy.

Bruno Fernandes is expected to be named as the Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes is expected to be named as the Manchester United captain (



**Do you think Bruno Fernandes should be the new Manchester United captain? Let us know in the comments below! **

“It’s an honour for me to be captain of such a big club and to be captain of the team. You will have the armband but you need to be just the same and the leadership needs to be the same as before. I think everyone has his own way to be a leader and this [game] will be the same for me and the others. It will just be that I will have the armband on my arm.”

According to Portuguese outlet A Bola, Fernandes is United’s new full-time captain after Harry Maguire was stripped of the honour on Sunday. Maguire, 30, admitted he was “extremely disappointed” by Ten Hag’s decision and could leave the club this summer.

Although Casemiro’s name has been mentioned, it would be harsh for Ten Hag to not give the armband to Fernandes after he spent most of last season captaining the side in Maguire’s absence. The Englishman has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

If Fernandes is named as United’s captain as expected, it will come as no surprise to Stramaccioni. “Bruno is a very good boy, a very good person,” Stramaccioni told Sky Sports in August 2020. “He is a really hard worker, he’s positive.

“When we were at Udinese he worked a lot and his approach was always positive. He can certainly captain Manchester United, he is a really talismanic player. He is loved by the fans, respected by his team-mates - even from opponents.

“To be captain of Manchester United is something really, really important. I hope he will be. I think now we don’t need to think about this kind of thing, he has to think about keeping his performance at a high level, as he is doing, and step by step gain the respect of everyone around him - the media, the fans - and continue to keep a high level.”