‘He would benefit most’ – Rio Ferdinand insists Bruno Fernandes should be new Man Utd captain after Liverpool performance


    Rio Ferdinand and Bruno Fernandes
    Ferdinand says Fernandes is a different player without Ronaldo (Picture: VIBE/Getty

    Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand insists Bruno Fernandes would benefit from taking the captain’s armband.

    With Harry Maguire dropped to the bench, Fernandes led United out for Monday’s Premier League clash against arch-rivals Liverpool.

    After a disastrous start to the season, Erik ten Hag’s side turned in a much-improved performance to seal a 2-1 victory in front of a rocking Old Trafford.

    With Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez impressing at the heart of defence, it raises the question of when Maguire will return to the side with the England international also the subject of an approach from Chelsea.

    And while the centre-half has often struggled with the weight of being club captain, Ferdinand believes Fernandes will use it to return to his best form on a consistent basis.

    I think I’d stick with who we’ve got at the moment, he looks like he [Fernandes] feeds off that responsibility,’ Ferdinand told Vibe.

    ‘Bruno has an ego and wants to be the main man. When Cristiano comes in there is no discussing who the main man is. There’s no disguising he’s the main man, regardless of who you are, what you’ve done.

    Bruno Fernandes and Mohamed Salah
    Fernandes was the ‘main man’ again, says Ferdinand (Picture: Getty)

    ‘I think when Bruno came here he was the main man, a cult figure because of his performances and goals and that was kind of put in the shadows when Cristiano Ronaldo came. He’s come off the levels as much as anyone because he was hitting such high levels.

    ‘Listen, the levels he was hitting he couldn’t continue that because it was ridiculous what he was doing, the output. But to drop off from where he was, he would benefit the most from getting the armband.’

    Alongside Maguire and Luke Shaw, Cristiano Ronaldo was also named among the subs with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Elanga, Jadon Sancho and later Anthony Martial all shining in attack.

    Fernandes’ goal contributions have taken a steep drop since his countryman’s arrival in Manchester, having registered a goal or assist every 95 minutes before Ronaldo’s return compared to every 233 since.

    And with no Ronaldo in the side, Ferdinand insists the attacking midfielder is ‘a different player’.

    ‘Look at the performance from Bruno. Bruno looks a different person when Cristiano is not there. He looks a different player in terms of energy, in terms of focus, decision making, everything,’ Ferdinand said.

    ‘Today he looked disciplined in the way he jumped out and was pressing. He just looked, his whole demeanour, I just sense a difference when Cristiano’s not there. It just seems like the whole aura of Cristiano for some people like it or not, sometimes it’s too much pressure for some people they see the game different.

    ‘It’s not a fault of those players, it’s just who they are. their stature is so great it can be daunting, it can weigh heavy on other players but the manager might think is he a burden on some of these players. It shouldn’t be like that but unfortunately if it is that case and there are too many players in their shells when Ronaldo is about, he may say his time’s up.’

    MORE : Jurgen Klopp reveals exchange with Bruno Fernandes after Manchester United beat Liverpool

    MORE : Jamie Carragher insists Lisandro Martinez’s height will be ‘a problem’ for Manchester United after beating Liverpool

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