Top 5 contenders to be next Manchester United Captain
When Michael Carrick retired at the end of last season, Manchester United had to appoint a new club Captain. There were quite a few capable candidates, however, the arm band went to Antonio Valencia, who had joined United in the summer of 2009 and was the longest serving player at the club.
The Ecuadorian's selection was widely accepted, as he had been an important part of the team and was the first choice right back at the club. However, his loss of form, injuries and friction with Mourinho had reduced him to a bit part role in the club. Even after Solskjaer's arrival, he has failed to break into the team and as such, questions about his future are looming large.
Whether he stays or leaves might be a part of a different debate, but should Manchester United look for a new Skipper to inspire the team, there are the 5 candidates for the role right now.
#5 Chris Smalling
The Englishman is one of the players who have been at the club for a long time now and is also United's most experienced central defender ! As such, Chris Smalling remains a contender for the next Manchester United Captain, should the need arise in the near future.
Smalling had captained United 14 times in the 2016/17 season, including in the EFL Cup Final where United defeated Sunderland. He is currently sidelined with a foot injury that has seen him miss more than a month of action and as such, he has not been involved under Solskjaer until now.
This has seen him drop down the pecking order and the competition now is quite fierce. But the English defender is an experienced campaigner who has won 2 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, 1 EFL Cup, three Community Shields and also the UEFA Europa League with United.
As such, Smalling does know what it means to be a Manchester United player and has the knowledge of the club to carry out the role of a skipper well. However, the defender's performances do not warrant a permanent place in the first team. He also lacks the leadership qualities to arrange his team and to inspire them.
As such, even though Chris Smalling is among the top five contenders for the next Manchester United Captain, he is not the favourite for the role right now.