The Liverpool-Manchester United game has gotten many people charged up. Even former Liverpool player Phil Thompson has spoken out about the clash but he did have a view on who could be England’s next captain.
While Jordan Henderson did get a chance to captain the national side after Wayne Rooney was dropped, the Liverpool legend has picked out a Manchester United player who could be the next captain.
Thompson was quoted by Sky Sports before the big game and had this to say regarding the captaincy issue for England.
“I can’t believe Chris Smalling isn’t starting with John Stones for England. People have been talking about the next England captain and he should not only be starting ahead of Cahill, but also considered for that role”.
It does sound a little weird that a Liverpool great would speak about another Manchester United player, it does make sense from an English point of view. It is a surprise that Smalling is not starting more games for England. (Rated €36.4 Million by CIES Football Observatory)
The 26-year-old was probably the best defender Manchester United had last season and did a pretty stellar job for Louis van Gaal’s side. His place in the United starting XI came under threat after the signing of Eric Bailly and also the pre-season injury he picked up in Asia.
Smalling though should be a starter in the game against Liverpool and could be one of the players to keep an eye out for. The Englishman has only played five Premier League games this season, two of which came from the bench.
The former Fulham player is certainly going to have a tough time defending against the likes of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and could be a weak point for the Red Devils.
The Englishman might be one of the best defenders for England but he certainly is not the captain material as stated by Thompson. The defender isn’t a leader and certainly it cannot be said that he would do a better job that Jordan Henderson for England.
A captain has to be someone who is vocal and also commands the respect of his teammates. While Henderson might not be the best replacement for Wayne Rooney, he certainly is a better option than the Manchester United man and it is a little concerning that there isn’t a better option in the mind of Thompson for this role.