Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s list of captaincy candidates not too impressive

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s list of captaincy candidates not too impressive

Reports emerged yesterday over who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was considering for the Manchester United captaincy this season and it’s safe to say no one truly stands out.

Ashley Young, David de Gea, Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling and Juan Mata were all named so here’s a look at each individual’s case for the sought-after armband.

United’s official captain last season was Antonio Valencia but given he hardly featured, the armband was passed around continuously in a rather embarrassing manner.

It’s clear Solskjaer has to decide once and for all in order to facilitate a dressing room dynamic so to speak and hopefully the results should show on the pitch too.

Young is the Red Devils’ oldest outfield player but given Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s signing, it’s unlikely he’ll feature much other than in a rotational manner- this should all but rule him out.

The veteran Englishman has been a loyal servant to the club, hardly ever making a fuss but the truth is he’s not the right man for the job. After all, he’s probably going to be phased out this season.

Smalling has probably been Manchester United’s most consistently featured centre-back over the past few seasons but barring one good campaign under Louis van Gaal, he’s been just decent.

Given Victor Lindelof’s solid showing last season and the likelihood of Harry Maguire joining this summer, the 29 year old is another who will likely be only used as a back-up, meaning the captaincy shouldn’t be handed to him either.

Mata is one of the club’s most lovable players and has shown time and gain as an attacking midfielder, he could really be a top player on his day.

The question is though how does he really fit in to Solskjaer’s tactics of an intense, pacy attacking style?

Once again, he’ll probably only be used occasionally when his playmaking can unlock stubborn defences and he’ll fall further down the pecking order if United sign Bruno Fernandes.

Pogba has split fans over the captaincy though giving him the armband may work out positively for all parties.

It’s far more difficult to leave when such an honour has been bestowed on a player and he’s proven his leadership time and again for France.

At his peak, there’s no better time to give the Frenchman a starring role but it could also send the wrong message of being allowed to flirt with other clubs and still be rewarded.

De Gea is arguably Ole’s best option despite not being an outfield player. The world-class Spaniard has been with the Red Devils for several seasons now, can be considered an experienced player of the squad now and has remained professional throughout his career at Old Trafford.

David may not have natural leadership skills but he could make up for it with his pure talent which is not only inspiring but also well respected.

It’s tough to imagine a better player in the current crop at the moment and it could give time for others to grow into a leadership position such as Victor Lindelof.

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Freelance football writer and Football Manager enthusiast. Unhealthy obsession with tactics, debates and chasing after a ball with 21 other people.