By 90Min
July 20, 2018

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Antonio Valencia will keep the captain's armband this season following the retirement of Michael Carrick.

Carrick was named club captain by Mourinho last summer, but it was actually Valencia who led the team out for most of the season as the veteran featured only sparingly.

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Valencia, who is now United's longest serving players having joined from Wigan in 2009, was appointed skipper for the opening pre-season game of the summer against Club America and will now retain that honour whenever he plays, Mourinho has declared.

No single vice-captain has been or will be appointed, although there are several candidates.

"Valencia will be the captain," Mourinho is quoted as saying by ManUtd.com.

"When he doesn't play we have to make decisions - it depends who is on the pitch. If [Chris] Smalling is, if Ashley Young is, if [Ander] Herrera is or if [Juan] Mata is. If they are on the pitch, they are an option," the boss added.

"I think Nemanja Matic has all the attributes to be Manchester United captain but of course he only arrived one year ago. But for me, I don't care too much about the captaincy, I care more about the life in the dressing room."

Paul Pogba has been suggested as a potential United captain in recent months, but others have expressed concern over whether the weight of responsibility could restrict his performances.

Goalkeeper David de Gea, who has captained United on occasion in the past, was another name that had been thrown around that Mourinho seems to be overlooking this time around.

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There had been doubts over Valencia being the permanent captain as his English is still surprisingly poor despite living in the country for 12 years. But it appears his leadership, experience and character have trumped any language barrier.

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