In the 57th minute of United’s away game against Aston Villa this season, Bruno Fernandes did something we all expect our captain to do.

Rashford had gotten into a minor conflict with Villa defender Ezri Konsa, with the two pitting against each other like footballers, but Bruno Fernandes sprinted over and did his best to get between the two players. Do you remember anyone?

Fernandes has shown captaincy since arriving at Old Trafford. He has captained the team several times this season and stood up for Harry Maguire when he was unable to play.

But it’s not all our captain is supposed to do when he stands up for players in a scrap, although it is important.

The best captains pull teams out of a low ebb during a game of energy and quality that Fernandes abounds.

And there’s nothing wrong with Maguire as captain – tactically it makes sense and he’s a reliable leader.

However, some players need inspiration and propulsion, which Maguire can’t always do from his position as a center-back.

(Photo by Ash Donelon / Manchester United via Getty Images)

Inspiring

Captains inspire other players to play at the top of their game and they add a sense of unity to a squad.

It is his ability to instill camaraderie in the players and his ability in high pressure scenarios, especially these penalties, that give the other players something to look up to.

Fernandes sets the tone for every game he plays – harassing defenders, creating opportunities almost out of nowhere, and making extremely high demands on himself. Statistically, he leads United in off-ball pressure.

Fernandes as captain can improve the quality of this United team by making himself the benchmark other players should strive for.

Goals and assists

His goals and assists records speak for themselves, 28 goals and 17 assists in all competitions this season is a phenomenal return but does not automatically make a player a good captain.

He seems natural to understand what a leader should do and often thinks about the team before thinking about himself.

He has scored notable goals this season and is helping on the balance sheet despite selflessly missing out on scoring opportunities for players who needed a goal.

1️⃣ Rashford wins the penalty kick
2️⃣ Rashford gives Bruno the ball
3️⃣ Bruno puts the ball on the spot
4️⃣ Bruno asks Rashford if he wants it
5️⃣ Rashford scores

Selfless stuff from a man with a hat trick. Spread the goals around Ziele pic.twitter.com/cygIaLMAN7

– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 24, 2020

Fearless

Fernandes is almost like a cross between two of United’s best captains: Roy Keane and Eric Cantona.

Cantona’s mercury attacking talent and Keane’s passionate aggression make a great combination.

And it’s his more Keane-like traits that have made Fernandes popular with fans.

When he told Pep to keep quiet in the Manchester derby, he immediately shot to the top of the captaincy pick list for many United fans.

If Manchester United are serious about catching Manchester City next season, some big changes need to be made.

Buying quality players to fix the poor quality areas in the site is one option.

But it will also be crucial to get the most out of the squad we already have, as Alex Ferguson did earlier and Bruno Fernandes is the best candidate for the job right now.

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