November 28, 2023

Erik ten Hag has guaranteed that Man United don’t have Chelsea and Liverpool FC situations this summer

Erik ten Hag has guaranteed that Man United don't have Chelsea and Liverpool FC situations this summer

Erik ten Hag has guaranteed that Man United don’t have Chelsea and Liverpool FC situations this summer

Harry Maguire’s removal as Manchester United captain had an appearance of inevitability, but Erik ten Hag’s decisiveness should not be affected by this.

Maguire confirmed in an emotional statement on Sunday evening that he would no longer don the captain’s armband, following discussions with the manager in which he was informed of the decision. The defender wrote on his social media channels, “He explained his reasons to me, and while I’m personally extremely disappointed, I will continue to give my all every time I wear the shirt.”

United are currently without a permanent commander, and news of Maguire’s replacement is unlikely to emerge until the club embarks on their preseason tour of the United States. After Wednesday’s meeting with Lyon, the aircraft will be prepared to depart from Edinburgh, but there will be only one captain in the cockpit.

It is not optimal to have a vacant captaincy less than a month before the start of the season, but Ten Hag will have Maguire’s replacement in mind.

As he did for the majority of last season, vice-captain Bruno Fernandes is the leading candidate to assume the role permanently. Varane admitted it was an honor to lead the Reds out in Oslo last week, while Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez also have a compelling case.

The Dutchman’s ruthless instincts will prevent United from joining Liverpool and Chelsea in purgatory.

In the midst of a massive overhaul, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta decided to leave Stamford Bridge after 11 years, penning a one-year contract with Atletico Madrid earlier this month. The 33-year-old’s departure leaves an enormous void in West London’s experience and presents new manager Mauricio Pochettino with an immediate dilemma in selecting his new leader.

Jordan Henderson remains at Liverpool for the time being, but by signing a contract worth nearly £700,000 per week to play for Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq, he has made it obvious that he intends to leave Merseyside. His departure will present Jurgen Klopp with a similar dilemma regarding the selection of a new commander.

Chelsea has been aware of Azpilicueta’s impending departure for some time, but Pochettino did not take over until June. The Argentine is still familiarizing himself with his bloated squad and attempting to shed dead weight, but he has been tasked with identifying a leader.

Henderson’s departure came entirely out of the blue, with reports of his former England teammate Gerrard wanting him to play in Saudi Arabia surfacing for the first time last week. Teams over there have generally gotten their way this summer, and Klopp, who is in the midst of a significant overhaul, may also be faced with a multitude of options.

In the coming weeks, both teams may find themselves in a similar position to United, but by taking the initiative and making the decision himself, Ten Hag enters a captain-less period on the front foot. The Dutchman spent the majority of last season shadowing Maguire and has long been prepared for this eventuality.

Martinez, Casemiro, Fernandes, and Varane joined Fernandes and Varane in fortifying the spine upon the arrival of the Reds manager, who made it a priority to improve the team’s mentality. He has numerous viable replacement options for Maguire.

Few in the game are as decisive as Ten Hag, whose swift decisions bring clarity to the group and enable attention to shift to matters on the field.

Erik ten Hag has guaranteed that Man United don’t have Chelsea and Liverpool FC situations this summer

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