Dozens of Manchester United fans have told Juan Mata on social media that he must become the Reds’ new captain.
It comes after Mata wore the captain’s armband during his appearances in pre-season victories over Perth Glory and Leeds United — and with the skipper’s position still vacant at Old Trafford. Antonio Valencia’s summer departure means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is without an official club captain.
And after Mata posted on Instagram to mark the end of the first leg of United’s pre-season tour, fans had a clear message for him.
Mata said: “Thank you to all our fans here in Australia for these past weeks, your support has been unreal. Will definitely be back!”
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Many fans replied simply by saying: “captain” with many others demanding “I think you should remain permanent captain” or “the armband suits you”.
(Image: @juanmatagarcia Instagram)
The 31-year-old attacking midfielder was signed for £37million by David Moyes midway through the 2013/14 campaign and has become a United stalwart. He agreed a new two-year contract this summer, with the option for an extra year and is believed to be very settled living in south Manchester.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has used Mata in his preferred No.10 position in pre-season so far, using the pace of players like Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood running off the former Valencia and Chelsea star.
Victor Lindelof and Paul Pogba have also been touted as possible contenders for the captain’s armband, despite the fact it was primarily worn by Ashley Young throughout last season during Valencia’s struggles with injury.