Manchester, United Kingdom, Jan 17 – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Harry Maguire as Manchester United’s new captain less than six months after his £80 million ($104 million) move from Leicester.
Maguire will take over as skipper from Ashley Young, who is expected to complete his move to Inter Milan on Friday.
The England international, 26, has led the side in games when Young has been absent and was an obvious choice for the role having played in every Premier League match this season.
“Harry has been wearing the captain’s armband and he will keep wearing it,” said Solskjaer, whose side take on runaway leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
“He’s come in and been a leader in the group. I have not been surprised but I’ve been impressed by his leadership skills.”
“He is part of a group that we’ve had that have been leading this young group,” added Solskjaer.
“Ashley has been of course, Marcus (Rashford) is a young lad but he has been involved, David (de Gea) and Harry, so Harry will keep on wearing the armband now.”
Young, who moved to Old Trafford in 2011, will link up at the San Siro with former United teammates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.
“Ashley has been a good servant for the club, he’s been captain, he’s won trophies, the league, various cups,” said Solskjaer.
“But we’ve got players coming through and when Ashley’s head and mindset was, ‘I want to try this’, why not do it now?”
– Rashford doubt –
Solskjaer’s main concern ahead of Sunday’s match is the fitness of striker Rashford, who was injured during his substitute appearance in the midweek FA Cup win against Wolves.
“We’ll do some more checks and treatment with him today,” said the United boss.
“Yesterday was just a recovery day and some treatment for him.
“I’m not going to hold my breath. I would probably think he wouldn’t be ready, but let’s see.”
Rashford has been in impressive form this season, with 22 goals for club and country, meaning his absence would be a big blow for Solskjaer.
United are the only team to have taken any points off Liverpool in the Premier League this season following the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in October but trail their rivals by 27 points.
Solskjaer said his team needed a “very, very good performance” to win at Anfield, calling on them to match the levels they showed in their victory against Manchester City last month.
“But the last two performances against Liverpool at Old Trafford, we’ve drawn twice and been closest to winning both games,” he said.
“So we have some games to look back at and that will give us loads of belief and if we perform to our best we have a chance to win.”