Erik ten Hag has altered the dressing room dynamics at Manchester United since the embarrassing episode against Brentford at the start of the season.
Manchester Evening News reports that United’s leadership group is ‘pretty fluid’ and not entirely fixed.
It comprises eight players – Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, David de Gea, Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane, Casemiro and Tom Heaton.
Ten Hag’s first big call after taking charge of United was to decide if Maguire would remain as the team captain.
He could have handed the armband to Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year in his first season back in Manchester.
Other alternatives were De Gea and Fernandes, but the Dutchman stuck with underperforming Maguire.
No longer a dearth of leaders at Manchester United
The Red Devils have seen a lack of leadership, which is one of the main reasons behind their decline in the last decade.
Things are changing under Ten Hag, who made powerful calls in his first season to get hold of the dressing room.
He took just two games to drop club captain Maguire. He was unconcerned with Ronaldo’s stardom and started Rashford ahead of him in the crucial match against Liverpool.
There was always a frosty relationship between Ronaldo and Ten Hag. What matters is that the former is no longer at the club, and the manager is leading United’s resurgence.
The core group of leaders in the dressing room are all behind the boss.
The culture and philosophy of a team begin with the manager, but the leaders have the onus that his ideas are reflected on the pitch.
Casemiro and Varane enjoyed trophy-laden careers with Real Madrid. They bring a much-needed winning mentality to the squad.
De Gea is United’s longest-serving member in the squad and has been the team’s saviour for several seasons.
Shaw knows what the club is about. He has endured multiple setbacks at Old Trafford, but none have held him back.
The left-back is a crucial member of the first team and a vocal voice on the pitch.
Although Maguire remains the team’s official skipper, Fernandes has led the side for most of the campaign.
He is the nucleus of the side and should be named United’s full-time captain next season.
- Kim Min-jae remains Man Utd’s top centre-back target, verbal offer already made
- Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea ready to snub Saudi Pro League offer for Old Trafford stay
- Man Utd target Benjamin Pavard allowed to leave Bayern immediately, price tag revealed
- AS Monaco centre-back Axel Disasi one step away from joining Manchester United
- Manchester United want €20m for Anthony Elanga as RB Leipzig open talks
- Tottenham and West Ham offered chance to sign Man Utd captain Harry Maguire
- Sheikh Jassim submits fifth bid for Manchester United
- Man United monitoring Ligue 1 if they fail to land Min-jae with Maguire due to discuss his future with Ten Hag next week
- ‘Very soon’: Man Utd could move forward with bid for Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa
- Napoli star Kim Min-jae already home with suitcases ‘ready to go to Man Utd’