9 Players Who Have Captained Manchester United Since Nemanja Vidic's Departure in 2014

With Wayne Rooney widely expected leave Old Trafford this summer, Jose Mourinho has the not insignificant task of naming a new Manchester United captain. Ander Herrera is already a firm favourite with fans after his performances this season, although the tenacious Basque star is actually yet to don the armband so far. But plenty of others already have since Nemanja Vidic left United in 2014. Captains are the manager's servant on the pitch and that is exactly what prompted Mourinho to hand the...

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney has of course been the only player to hold the official title of 'club captain' since 2014, but a lack of form and build up of injury and general fitness problems have seen the skipper feature in the starting line-up increasingly less, particularly this season.

Somewhat unfortunately for Rooney, he wasn't wearing the captain's armband when he broke Sir Bobby Charlton's goalscoring record in January, as he had come from the bench.

Michael Carrick

Just as with Rooney, it was Louis van Gaal who took the decision to hand Michael Carrick a leading role, making him United's vice-captain when he took over in the summer of 2014.

Carrick is not a vocal skipper, rather leading by example, but has 'been there and done it' in almost every sense since joining the club back in 2006. He captained United in the EFL Cup final this year and jointly lifted the trophy with Rooney.

Robin van Persie

Having initially captained United during pre-season of David Moyes' ill-fated season in charge, Robin van Persie wore the armband for the first time officially in October 2014 in a Premier League game against Everton.

Rooney was suspended at the time and Van Gaal turned to his fellow countryman to lead the team on the day. The game saw a rare Radamel Falcao goal after the Colombian scored the winner in an important 2-1 victory.

Chris Smalling

Chris Smalling was another early choice for Van Gaal in the United captain stakes, with the centre-back developing incredibly well during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 campaigns and falling into line as the third captain.

Smalling remained in Jose Mourinho's thoughts as a stand-in and has continued to be handed the armband, this season, notably forthe huge clash against Liverpool at Anfield.

David de Gea

David de Gea briefly wore the United armband in a League Cup tie against Ipswich in September 2015 as one of the more senior members left on the pitch after Rooney was substituted with only 10 minutes plus stoppage time remaining.

Should De Gea remain at Old Trafford next season, United legend Gary Neville has already backed the goalkeeper as a surprise choice to take over the captaincy full time, naming him as his choice in a recent Twitter Q&A.

Juan Mata

United fans were delighted to see favourite Juan Mata lead the team out at Old Trafford ahead the draw with Burnley earlier this season, especially after the summer had been dominated with speculation about a possible exit because of Mourinho's arrival.

The Spaniard was also named skipper again a few weeks later away at West Ham and is generally considered the club's fourth captain at this moment in time.

Antonio Valencia

Antonio Valencia was one of Mourinho's very first choices as captain, taking the armband for the second half of the new manager's opening pre-season game against Wigan in July.

The Ecuadorian international, who has proven to be a genuine asset since making the permanent transition from winger to full-back in recent seasons, subsequently then led the team out as United lined up against Borussia Dortmund for a friendly in China.

Ashley Young

Had things worked out differently, Ashley Young might have actually left United in January. But Mourinho clearly values the veteran winger and named him as captain against Chelsea this month in what turned out to be the club's best performance of the season so far.

Young had previously inherited the United armband during games on occasion, but he described it as 'an honour to captain Manchester United for the firs time' from the start.

Marouane Fellaini

Captains are the manager's servant on the pitch and that is exactly what prompted Mourinho to hand the armband to Marouane Fellaini for the recent clash with Sunderland.

He was far from the most skilful player in the line-up and is still losing a never-ending battle to win over the majority of United fans, but the Belgian's great qualities as a trustworthy and loyal individual were enough for Mourinho to make him leader for the day.

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