Manchester City could yet choose a new skipper before the start of the season

Manchester City are slated to start their season with the Community Shield Final against Leicester City on August 8th. The Cityzens will consider themselves as favorites to lift the title but are still hoping to receive fierce competition from the Foxes in this season’s curtain-raiser.

Before the start of the new season, the Sky Blues are likely to choose a skipper for their side. The likes of Ederson, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, and Fernandinho are all being backed to receive the captain’s armband.

Last term, the leadership role was handed to veteran midfielder Fernandinho. Despite not being a regular starter, the Brazilian had still managed to provide a strong presence on the field and was often spotted skippering in tense situations.

With  Vincent Kompany departing in 2019, the club is still looking for a like to like replacement for their legendary captain. At the same time, City have managed to create a leadership group among their dressing room which has seen players like Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Kyle Walker, and Fernandinho embrace the captain’s armband whenever needed. But, the club would be hoping they finally select a solid and efficient member for the captain’s armband before the start of the new season.

Here are some of the probable candidates who could fit into the role:-

# 1.Kevin De Bruyne(Manchester City)

He is probably one of the frontrunners for the skipper role and hence has a good chance of receiving the armband permanently ahead of the new season. The Belgian has had a substantial amount of experience in the skipper role as he has been often spotted wearing the armband.

The world-class midfielder has shown traits of leadership in the past and has showcased instances of being a real “live wire” on the field. What works in favor of De Bruyne is his good understanding with his City teammates. Even in defeats, the midfielder has been seen consoling his team members and has maintained a gentlemanly approach in times of despair. Therefore, I feel that the 30-year-old has a good chance of getting the armband ahead of the start of the new campaign.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City catches a ball during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Etihad Stadium on September 27, 2020, in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

# 2.Fernandinho(Manchester City)

Ask a City fan who they could blindly trust to wear the Captain’s armband and the answer would probably be their very own veteran midfielder Fernandinho. At 36, the Brazilian is still an attractive option for captaincy as he brings tons of experience in this demanding role. Not to forget, he was entrusted with the role last season, and therefore, has proved to be a good fit for this position.

One of the biggest reasons why this captaincy role could be handed to Fernandinho is his calm and composed attitude on the field. Also, his ability to marshal his troops in intense situations can work in favor of him.

But the downside is that the veteran midfielder will not always feature in Guardiola’s  XI.His limited role in the side might work against him and therefore there are chances that he may miss out on the armband this term. The 36-year-old did sign an extension this summer but has been contracted with the club only till next summer which, therefore, rules him out as a long-term prospect for captaincy.

Manchester City’s Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho reacts at the end of the UEFA Champions League final football match between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at the Dragao stadium in Porto on May 29, 2021. (Photo by Jose Coelho / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOSE COELHO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

# 3.Ruben Dias(Manchester City)

There has been a lot of talk about how good Ruben Dias was in his debut season at the Etihad. The former Benfica man was one of the best players for Guardiola in the 2020-21 season as he had put solid performances at the back.

But could he also be a solid candidate for the skipper role this season? The answer is Maybe. It is important to remember that he is young and hence has a lot to learn at the highest level. The Portuguese defender has shown glimpses of leadership-like traits in his game. Recently, Pep Guardiola confirmed that the center-back has been considered as captain for the leadership group.

In a recent interview, former City defender Richard Dunne  spoke in favor of Dias and how he could occupy the role soon, his words were :

The other players will know him and understand what he’s good at and what to expect, so let’s hope that continues. Although he’s still very young, he’s got that stature and aura about him. Looking ahead, I think he could be a real captaincy candidate going forward in the next few years.

As of now, likely, the talented center-back may not get the armband on a full-time basis. However, there are chances that the Portuguese international could someday become the club captain if he keeps impressing the authorities with his robust outings in the Manchester City shirt.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 03: Ruben Dias of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Manchester City at Elland Road on October 3, 2020, in Leeds, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)