• Man Utd appointed Maguire as their captain in 2020
  • He was earlier dropped from the side due to poor form
  • Fernandes has often led the side in Maguire's absence

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker believes Bruno Fernandes should replace Harry Maguire as the Red Devils' captain.

Maguire, who moved from Leicester City to Manchester United in the summer of 2019, was named the Old Trafford clubs' captain the following year. However, the English center-back has not flourished in the red shirt, especially since he was bought for a big-money deal by the former Premier League champions.

Parker, who played 105 competitive matches for Manchester United between 1991 and 1996, labeled Maguire's current situation at Old Trafford as "embarrassing." The former center-back also slammed Maguire's defensive abilities, describing the Red Devils skipper as "too nervous and too slow" to play for an elite-level side.

Parker also expressed doubts on whether Maguire would receive a contract with any big club if Manchester United decide to send him on loan in the January window.

"Honestly, the situation with Harry Maguire is embarrassing now. The way he is taking away the armband from Bruno Fernandes is miserable. He should never do that and Erik ten Hag needs to take the decision now to take away the armband from Maguire for good," he said in an interview.

"I'm not sure that he will find a new club in January. Maybe he could go out on loan but then it will be a small team from the bottom of the league. He can't play for a top side like Man City, Liverpool or Newcastle because they are defending with a high line. He needs to play for a team that defends with a low block because he is too nervous and too slow to play for a big club," added Parker, who also played 19 games for England between 1989 and 1994.

Maguire has struggled for game time under new boss Erik ten Hag since Manchester United's 4-0 defeat to Brentford at the beginning of the 2022-23 campaign. Over the last few months, Maguire was recovering from a hamstring injury and he barely spent time on the field. However, Ten Hag handed Maguire a rare start last weekend in Manchester United's 3-0 win against Bournemouth.

Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire is the current captain of Manchester United Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Fernandes has often worn the captain's armband in Maguire's absence. Since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure, the Portuguese midfielder has netted a goal and provided three assists. Overall, Fernandes has three goals and five assists in 25 matches for the Red Devils this season.