Former England international Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Harry Maguire shouldn’t have been Manchester United but David de Gea because the Spaniard knows what it takes to win.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who replaced Jose Mourinho in 2018, signed Maguire from Leicester City for a reported £80million transfer fee in 2019.
The Norwegian boss would name Harry Maguire as his captain after former skipper Ashley Young had joined Inter Milan in January 2020. Maguire became United’s permanent skipper less than six months at the club.
Since joining the Red Devils, the England international has endured massive criticism from fans and pundits over his lack of consistency, with some group of fans urging Ralf Rangnick to drop Maguire off the starting lineup and strip him of the captaincy – something these fans also demanded from ex-manager Solskjaer.
Victor Lindelof recovering from COVID-19 and Raphael Varane lacking match fitness has obviously made it difficult for the German boss to leave the club’s skipper on the bench.
Asked whether Maguire would have been dropped had he not been club captain, Ferdinand told Vibe with Five: ‘The fact that he has had the armband has given him that grace. Which it would do. I think he was given it too early.
‘It’s a hard enough job coming into Manchester United, getting your feet under the table and starting to feel comfortable as it is without the added pressure of being captain.
‘Being captain is a massive responsibility, there is history that goes with it, a big weight on your shoulders.
‘You need to experience being there for a period of time to carry that weight. It was more important for Maguire to come in and concentrate on becoming a Manchester United mainstay than being captain.’
The former Manchester United centre-back also suggested that if he was in the position to pick who should captain United, he would pick David de Gea because of the years he’s stayed at Old Trafford.
United signed de Gea from Atletico Madrid in 2012 and would go on to win the Premier League title in 2013.
Rio Ferdinand added: ‘The thing you can counter that with, is that there weren’t many captains at the club, who else are they going to pick?
‘David de Gea would have been my choice because of the time he’s been there and he knows what it takes to win.
‘This is all with hindsight but you have to got to think about these times that might come with someone like Harry Maguire, new at the club in that sense. And that added pressure is weighing on him heavily at the moment.’