Ex-Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has disagreed with Roy Keane’s firm belief that Bruno Fernandes should be stripped of the captain’s armband at Old Trafford

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Dimitar Berbatov does not think Bruno Fernandes should be stripped of the Manchester United captaincy, believing it will “only add to the turbulence” inside the dressing room.

Fernandes came under fierce criticism from Roy Keane after the Manchester derby as the ex-United midfielder slammed his on-pitch behaviour as “unacceptable”. Keane claimed that Erik ten Hag should take the armband off Fernandes, less than three months after replacing Harry Maguire in the role.

Gary Neville and Micah Richards also blasted Fernandes for his actions in the damning 3-0 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday. Now, former United forward Berbatov has weighed in and disagreed with Keane, admitting that replacing Fernandes as captain would only disturb the squad further.

Speaking to Betfair, Berbatov said: “I saw Gary and Roy Keane’s comments and I agree with what Gary said. If you change the captaincy now, then it will only add to the turbulence in the team. It happened in pre-season when the armband was taken from Harry Maguire and given to Bruno.

“Now if you take it from Bruno, that will be bad for his morale. If he is removed as Man United captain, then his performances will dip because it’s disrespectful to him. Bruno will be aware of the criticism regarding his behaviour, and he will need to work on it.

“The reason for Fernandes’ current behaviour is due to how the team is performing. He’s not happy with it. I’ve been there myself and I know the feeling. It’s not a good one. When you’re the captain and things aren’t going well, you need to shout, and you need to be angry with the players around you. We know where he’s coming from with all this, but I don’t think the armband should be taken away from him.”

Bruno Fernandes has come in for criticism following recent performances. Bruno Fernandes has come in for criticism following recent performances. (


Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

It has been a disappointing campaign for Fernandes so far, with the midfielder scoring just one Premier League goal in 10 matches this season. He cut a frustrated figure in the defeat against bitter rivals City on Sunday and, after the match, Keane has expressed his feelings on the United skipper.

Keane said on Sky Sports: “The one thing I would do, after today having watched him again, I would definitely take the captaincy off him, 100 percent. I know it was a big decision to change the captaincy with Maguire, but Fernandes is not captain material.

“I think he’s a talented player, but what I saw today, we’ve discussed this before, I was at Liverpool last year, his whinging, his moaning, constantly throwing his arms up in the air. It really isn’t acceptable.

“It has to start somewhere and where do you make changes - manager? board level? It starts with that (the captaincy) because the manager is capable of doing that. Hold his hands up and say he got it wrong. Fernandes is a great player, but he’s the opposite of what I would want in a captain.”

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