Wayne Rooney as Manchester United captain? Really the only option 0

Nemanja Vidic has agreed to join Inter Milan at the end of his contract in the Summer, and so Manchester United will be without a captain before too long. Patrice Evra has frequently worn the armband in the Serbian’s absence, but his age and personal situation at Old Trafford makes him an ill-suited candidate to inherit the captaincy full-time.

So, who’s left?

Wayne Rooney.

Of all the players who David Moyes would consider automatic starters, Rooney is perhaps the only credible option available. Robin van Persie’s future is unclear, David De Gea does not yet have sufficient on-pitch authority, Michael Carrick’s personality is unsuited to the role, and…well…that’s it really.

Because of the state of the squad, it’s realistic to expect that this Summer will see a big turnover in personnel at Manchester United. There are some very obvious candidates to depart (Nani/Young) and the supporters will be hoping to see at least three or four new arrivals. With that transient feel in mind, it’s going to be important for Moyes to pass the armband to someone who is not only recognisable as a club icon, but who will also be a United player for the foreseeable future. Change is fine, but it has to be centred around some kind of permanence.

Rooney has had character issues and disciplinary problems in the past, but United as a club have never been that shy in embracing incendiary characters and channeling their passion into leadership - neither Roy Keane nor Eric Cantona were angels on the pitch, but both set a playing example that those around them seemed more than willing to follow.

He’s in his late twenties, he’s a father twice over, and he’s been at the club for almost ten years - Wayne Rooney is a better captaincy candidate than people assume, and actually he’s the kind of personality who could really thrive under the extra responsibility.

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