Manchester United Captains In Premier League Era Listed

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Harry Maguire has been named as Manchester United’s new captain following the departure of Ashley Young to Inter Milan.

While the decision has divided the United fan base, the 26-year-old has been a reliable presence in the United defence this season having featured 29 times for the Red Devils including in all 22 of their Premier League matches.

He becomes the eleventh captain United have had during the Premier League era and we take a look back at the others here.

BRYAN ROBSON (Captain 1982-1994)

‘Captain Marvel’ as he was fondly called by the United faithful Robson remains the longest-serving skipper in United’s history.

Manager Ron Atkinson named the fiercely competitive midfielder as captain just a year after his British record transfer from West Brom and he wore the armband until his transfer to Middlesbrough in 1994.

As captain, Robson lifted the FA Cup in 1983 and 1985 under Atkinson and lifted the first trophy in the Sir Alex Ferguson era in the FA Cup in 1990.

Further silverware followed in the European Cup Winners’ Cup a year later and following the Premier League in 1992 which heralded the start of a United dominance, Robson’s Old Trafford career was crowned with back-to-back league titles in 1993 and 1994.

STEVE BRUCE (Captain 1992-1996. Jointly with Robson from 1992 and 1994)

Robson’s latter years at United were marred by injury so during the 1992-93 campaign, Ferguson turned increasingly to Bruce and they shared the armband for a couple of years.

That explains why the pair jointly lifted the Premier League trophy when United ended their long wait for the championship in 1993.

An uncompromising defender and natural leader who had a knack of scoring goals, Bruce became the first English captain to achieve the Double of league title and FA Cup within the same season in the 20th century.

Although he missed the 1996 FA Cup final with Liverpool with matchwinner Eric Cantona taking the armband on that occasion, Bruce was still technically captain as United won another Double in1996 in what turned out to be his final act at United.

ERIC CANTONA (Captain 1996-1997)

Bruces move to Birmingham City in the summer of 1996 saw the popular decision to appoint the darling of the Old Trafford as captain.

Worshipped by the Old Trafford faithful for his audacity, tenacity and stunning goals, Cantona’s outsized impact at United belied the solitary season he spent as captain.

The Frenchman scored 15 times en route to another Premier League title win before announcing his retirement in the summer of 1997, aged just 30.

ROY KEANE (Captain 1997-2005)

The natural choice as Cantona’s replacement, the uncompromising Keane was Ferguson’s lieutenant in the midfield long before he assumed the captaincy in 1997.

The Irishman remains the most successful captain in Manchester United history and led the team to a Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the club’s finest ever moment in 1999.

Keane won three more Premier League titles as captain before he left Old Trafford under a cloud following the breakdown of his relationship with Ferguson following criticism of his team-mates’ professionalism in a never-released in-house interview on the club’s TV channel.

GARY NEVILLE (Captain 2005-2011)

An academy graduate who came to best epitomise Manchester United, right-back Neville won 20 major trophies in the space of two incredibly successful decades.

He was the perfect choice to replace Keane and provided the leadership that heralded a resurgence of United dominance thanks to young stars such as Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

With Neville as captain, United won further Premier League titles between 2007 and 2009, plus their holy grail of the Champions League in 2008.

He continued to serve as club captain until his retirement in 2011.

NEMANJA VIDIC (Captain 2011-2014)

The Serbian was stand-in captain for much of the 2010-11 season with Neville often sidelined with injury.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s last captain was loved by United fans for his full-bloodied approach, aerial dominance and goal-scoring abilities.

Vidic won two Premier League titles as skipper and remains the last captain to lift the league title for United in Ferguson’s last season in 2013.

He departed Old Trafford for Inter Milan in 2014 after struggling with injuries during the 2013-2014 season.

WAYNE ROONEY (Captain 2014-2017)

Rooney was a natural choice for incoming manager Louis van Gaal as the longest-serving member of the squad who had played the most matches, scored the most goals and won the most trophies.

His time as skipper, however, coincided with a drought of success for the team and a personal decline in his abilities, though he did end his long wait for FA Cup success in 2016.

Rooney was United’s leading goalscorer in both seasons of the Van Gaal reign, and he overtook Bobby Charlton as the club’s all-time leading scorer earlier in 2017.

He gradually fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho but lifted the club’s first-ever Europa League title before returning to his boyhood club Everton on a free transfer at the end of the 2016-2017 season.

MICHAEL CARRICK (Captain 2017-2018)

Carrick’s appointment as Rooney’s replacement was in keeping with the tradition of having somebody ingrained in the club take on the responsibility.

The understated and often underrated midfielder was the longest-serving player following Rooney’s departure to Everton but was no longer a first-team player at his elevation.

Heart problems restricted him to just four appearances – a substitute appearance in the Premier League (24 minutes), 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup, and 180 minutes in the FA Cup in his final season.

Signed from Tottenham for £18.6m he played over 460 times for the club, winning five Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League but failed to add to his trophy haul becoming the first United captain to fail to win a trophy in the Premier League era.

He retired in 2018 and joined Jose Mourinho’s backroom staff and continues as a coach under current manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

ANTONIO VALENCIA (Captain 2018-2019)

The Ecuadorian was de facto captain in the 2017-2018 season having assumed the armband in Carrick’s absence and was retained by manager Jose Mourinho following Carrick’s retirement.

Signed by Sir Alex Ferguson as Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement in 2009, Valencia won two league titles, one FA Cup trophy, two League Cup titles and the Europa League during his decade at the club.

He was injured for most of the 2018-2019 season making just nine appearances before leaving on a free at the end of the season to hometown club LDU Quito.

ASHLEY YOUNG (Captain 2019-2020)

Having worn the armband for much of the preceding season, newly appointed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stuck with the versatile Young for the 2019-2020 season.

One of only three players in the squad from United’s last title-winning campaign, Young was a bridge of sorts to the last vestiges of United’s heydays and though not universally loved, his professionalism and love for the club were never in doubt.

He was part of the squads that won the Premier League in 2012-2013, the FA Cup in 2015-2016, the League Cup and the Europa League in 2016-2017.

He played over 260 games for United in eight-and-a-half-years before a midseason transfer to Inter Milan.

His replacement as captain Maguire will hope to do as well as some of his more illustrious peers and reestablish United’s dominance.