Bruno Fernandes could have “few arguments” if he is stripped of the Manchester United captaincy, according to Chris Sutton, who believes there are “people far better qualified” for the role.
Fernandes’s behaviour during the shock 7-0 defeat to Liverpool has been heavily criticised.
At one point during the second half, the Portuguese midfielder appeared to stop after Stefan Bajcetic dribbled past him rather than giving chase.
While the club have denied that Fernandes asked to be substituted during the game, a gesture made by the 28-year-old towards manager Erik ten Hag and the Manchester United bench has also been questioned.
Harry Maguire remains the club’s official captain, but is firmly out of favour under the Dutch manager, leaving Fernandes to deputise.
Former Premier League striker Sutton believes that after the Liverpool defeat Ten Hag would be wise to consider alternatives who could take the armband.
“That was a standout moment,” Sutton said of the Bajcetic incident on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“However bad United were, you cannot just let someone run away from you and give up. That’s what the captain of Manchester United did – and that’s a bad look.
“I don’t think he has any real arguments if he does get stripped of the captaincy. I think Bruno’s days have to be numbered.
“There are people that are far better qualified to be captain. Fernandes is not their best leader. There are more suitable candidates than him, Casemiro being one.
“I think he should never put on the armband again for Manchester United.”
Sutton also suggested defender Raphael Varane as a possible candidate to take over as skipper.
Fernandes has been a key driver of a good recent on-field form for Manchester United, with the Liverpool defeat a real aberration in an otherwise successful period for the club.
The first trophy under Ten Hag’s management was secured in the Carabao Cup final last weekend, while Manchester United are also well placed to secure Champions League qualification for next season.
They continue their Europa League campaign with a Round of 16 tie against Real Betis, with the first leg held at Old Trafford on Thursday.