Former Premier League striker Darren Bent believes David De Gea should be the next Manchester United captain ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. He stated that while the Portuguese legned is a leader, none of the United players followed his example last season.
There is a growing belief that Harry Maguire might not be the captain of the side next season. He had a terrible 2021-22 season, both as a defender and as a captain. As per The Sun, manager Erik Ten Hag will let the dressing room decide their next captain, and De Gea could be their first choice.
Bent believes that this would be the right decision. He spoke about Ronaldo’s example at Manchester United last season and stated on TalkSport (via Manchester Evening News):
“I think David De Gea should be the captain. My thing with Ronaldo is, we know he’s a leader, but he tried to lead this season and not many of the players followed him. Some of them went the other way.”
“None of them improved, none of them wanted to follow the example that he set and he’s one of the greats, but there were times when people didn’t pass the ball to him and he’d turn his back on them and throw his arms up in the air. That’s not a captain. He was a captain this season without having the armband. For me, David de Gea would be my captain.”
Should Cristiano Ronaldo captain Manchester United next season?
Manchester United finished sixth in the Premier League last season, accumulating their worst ever points tally (58). They were eliminated early from all cup competitions and were humiliated in the league by the likes of Liverpool and Watford.
One of the major issues was certainly the lack of leadership. With a change in managers, dressing room issues, multiple players set to leave, and more, it was chaos. The Red Devils need a strong leader who can unite and motivate players and lead from the front.
For that purpose, Ronaldo is arguably the best choice. He led Portugal to two trophies, the 2016 EURO and the 2018 Nations League.
Cristiano Ronaldo has often been the best player for Manchester United last season as well, scoring 24 goals in 39 appearances across competitions. Moreover, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest players ever to grace the game.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has certainly proven his leadership skills as a captain for his national side. There is no reason why he wouldn’t replicate it for Manchester United.