The Manchester United captaincy is ‘ too much for Harry Maguire’ and Erik ten Hag ‘made a mistake’ by not taking it away from him, according to Danny Murphy.
The United manager revealed that Maguire would remain as the club’s captain in a press conference during United’s pre-season tour in Thailand.
The centre back struggled at times last season and lost his place under Ralf Rangnick, leading some to question whether the captaincy would be given to a different senior player such as David de Gea or Bruno Fernandes.
‘I think he’s probably made a mistake,’ Murphy told talkSPORT. ‘I think it was time for a change of captaincy for United.’
When asked who should take the captaincy instead, the former Liverpool and Fulham man replied: ‘To whoever he brings in that is big enough and brave enough to do it.
‘I remember being at Liverpool when Incey [Paul Ince] walked in the door, and the mentality changed straight away.’
Murphy still felt Maguire had a role to play for United, though, as he explained: ‘That doesn’t mean I’d want to get rid of him I think he’s a good player.
‘I just think it’s too much for him. I think he’s struggled with it a bit. I think his performance would be enhanced [without the captaincy].’
Despite being backed by the manager, Maguire could face competition next season if United can land another player in his position this summer.
Their first choice would be Lisandro Martinez, who played under Ten Hag at Ajax, with the club tabling an improved offer of £43million in recent days.
Martinez would undoubtedly strengthen a United side that conceded 57 goals last year, but he could put Maguire in an awkward position if the captain struggles to hang on to a regular spot.