5 Players Who Could Become the New Manchester United Captain

Robbie Dunne@@bobdonadiniContributor IIIMarch 19, 2014

5 Players Who Could Become the New Manchester United Captain

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    Nemanja Vidic's imminent departure from Old Trafford has been met with a sense of anticipation as to who might take over from the outgoing captain.

    Men such as Roy Keane, Bryan Robson and Bobby Charlton have worn the armband previously so it takes a player with the required experience, influence and ability to take the role.

    Many players possess certain qualities required to be a captain, but it takes a special player to possess all of them in equal measure. Here is a list of five candidates who could lead the Red Devils next season.

Phil Jones

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    There is no doubt that Phil Jones has the commitment, fearlessness and loyalty to be a future captain, but at only 22, it would appear he is still learning the ropes as a leading figure in the Manchester United squad, and it may be a couple of years too soon to burden him with the role of captain.

    He certainly has the "lead by example" mentality and could be an option if nobody else steps up to the plate by season's end.

    A solid World Cup on the international stage in his typical fighting fashion could excel him to the realm of a realistic option, but it would seem he is still a few years off being named captain of a club of such stature.

Darren Fletcher

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    It is unclear as to whether or not Fletcher’s return from his lengthy lay-off due to a chronic bowel disorder can be sustained and whether or not he is a part of Manchester United’s long-term plans.

    However, there are few men in the squad who are as adored by the fans and respected by the players as much as Fletcher is.

    He has the right kind of mentality to make a great leader for the club, but to be a great captain you need to be on the field. Fletcher’s sporadic returns to the red of United have been a point of massive frustration for the Scot, but if he can stay fit and survive a summer preseason, then there is every chance he could be the man given the armband next season.

    The verdict is that he would be ideal if he could only nail down a starting position and make it his own.

David De Gea

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    Another man who lacks the experience needed to guide a club as big as Manchester United—for now.

    He struggled in his first two seasons at the club and might not need that kind of extra attention piled on him at such an early stage of his career.

    But if he continues to progress as he has this season, it is certainly an option to look at—his command of the English language and his back four will only grow as his rise to the top of the world's goalkeeping charts continues.

    Peter Schmeichel was one of the greatest leaders that Old Trafford has ever seen, and De Gea could become a man of such stature, but for now the club should remained committed to his development as a player.

Michael Carrick

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    Carrick is the kind of experienced leader who could make all the difference for United as a captain.

    He controls the tempo of the game and is the link between the defensive and attacking phases in the pivot position just in front of the back four.

    He has been with Manchester United for eight years and certainly knows the nuances of the club and what it takes to be a captain.

    He may be a little too timid when you compare him to the likes of Roy Keane, and it might not be a long-term option, but while the club are waiting on the next captain to emerge, Carrick would make an appropriate leader in the interim.

Wayne Rooney

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    Rooney’s spat with Alex Ferguson last year made all the headlines (as per Sky Sports), and Chelsea’s courting of him in the summer was all very public news.

    But since then he has put his head down, signed a new long-term contract with the club and has been watching his Ps and Qs in an effort to build the bridges he seemed intent on tearing down just a season ago.

    He has the required experience, is fearless on the field and demands respect from anyone who plays with or against him. Has the time come for Rooney to go to the next level of greatness in a United shirt or is last summer’s fiasco a little fresh in the memories of most fans?

    Rooney seems the ideal candidate for the job, and with his quality and experience, he could even become one of the better United captains in the club’s storied past.