It has often been said this season that Manchester United have lacked real leadership on the pitch, in terms of a voice of gusto, of encouragement and of constructive criticism.

Wayne Rooney is certainly a fitting captain for a club like Manchester United – he’s a big figure on the pitch whose record demands respect, he’s well-liked off the field at the club and his passion and determination in his game rub off onto others.

However, it seems likely at the moment that both he and vice-captain Michael Carrick will be leaving the club come the end of the season, with Rooney’s game-time having been severely limited this season and Carrick yet to be offered a new contract.

If both are to leave, they will take with them a whole host of vital experience, winners medals and the famous winning mentality instilled at Old Trafford by Sir Alex Ferguson.

It’ll take a certain type of character to step up to the mantle to replace Rooney as captain of one of the biggest clubs in the world. Here are our suggested candidates, from the current squad…

Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport Start slideshow

Antonio Valencia

Eric Bailly

Marcos Rojo

Ander Herrera

Paul Pogba

Juan Mata


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