Liverpool legend Graeme Souness is “mystified” by Erik ten Hag’s decision to make Bruno Fernandes the new Manchester United captain.
The Portugal international replaced Harry Maguire as skipper over the summer with the England centre-back unlikely to be starting many matches this season.
Fernandes’ captaincy has already been thrust into the spotlight with Man Utd performing poorly in their opening two Premier League fixtures against Wolves and Tottenham.
Man Utd did manage to beat Wolves 1-0 on the opening weekend, despite the visitors having numerous chances, while Tottenham were the better side in the second half as they downed Ten Hag’s side 2-0 last Saturday.
And Souness has questioned why Fernandes, who repeatedly “shows disrespect to his team-mates”, has been made captain of Man Utd.
Souness wrote in his Daily Mail column: “I’m mystified by the decision to make Bruno Fernandes captain. I saw him at Anfield last year and he totally gave up at the home of their biggest rivals when it became clear United would get nothing from the game.
“He’s a talented boy, but there are big questions marks that come with him. He shows disrespect to his team-mates on a regular basis by shrugging his shoulders and pulling faces, holding his palms outwards to the sky when they fail to pick him out with a pass. He is just not captain material.”
Souness added: “Last year I was criticised for saying that Casemiro is a steady Eddie in midfield, but I stick by that.
“He’s a year older and a year wiser in terms of English football so let’s see if he’s better this season. He will be the anchor in midfield but beyond that Ten Hag has a technically gifted group of midfield players – Fernandes, Mason Mount and Christian Eriksen, who all very good in possession.
“My concern is that out of possession against the better teams, that four will find life difficult. Can they play Mount, Fernandes and Eriksen in the same team with Casemiro as the holding player? Ten Hag has to come up with a blend that works.
“On the wings, you look at Jadon Sancho, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho. I don’t think any of them are good enough to be United players long-term and take the club where they want to go as a giant of world football. They’re ordinary.
“In terms of recruitment, Ten Hag been heavily reliant on players he knows. Last season he signed Antony and Lisandro Martinez and now he’s signed Onana. They all played for him at Ajax, and have now got to turn up for him.
“It’s a quantum leap playing for Ajax in the Eredivisie then coming to the biggest club in England and playing a cup final every weekend – and that’s what he’s asked these guys to do.
“I’m not sure if any of them are up to the standard needed to make Manchester United the best team in this country again.”
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