David de Gea expects Darren Fletcher will prove himself to be a worthy deputy to Wayne Rooney while the Manchester United captain serves the suspension he received following his red card against West Ham.
Fletcher next in line
Rooney was sent off during the 2-1 victory over West Ham at Old Trafford after up-ending Stewart Downing in the line of sight of referee Lee Mason and, despite his apology, will now be unavailable for three matches.
Fletcher will assume responsibilities in the absence of Rooney, if he is selected of course, with the midfielder having been announced by Louis van Gaal as Manchester United’s vice-captain before the season started.
De Gea, who himself had been among the contenders for the armband, believes that, in Fletcher, Manchester United will have an ideal leader to fill the void after their talisman was suspended.
"Darren Fletcher is the next captain and I think he will be a great captain," the club’s goalkeeper told reporters.
While Fletcher is next in line for the captaincy, it remains to be seen if he will indeed be the one afforded the responsibility when Manchester United face Everton in their next Premier League encounter.
But will he play?
The 30-year-old had been Van Gaal’s holding player of choice until the acquisition of Daley Blind, with the Netherlands international having started the last two of the club’s fixtures at the base of a midfield diamond.
Fletcher had not made an appearance since the last weekend of August until he featured against West Ham last Saturday, coming on as a substitute to tighten up Manchester United’s defences after Rooney had been red-carded.
Were Fletcher to be on the bench for the visit of Everton on Sunday afternoon, then the most likely player to be captain for the this game at least would seem to be Robin van Persie, given his credentials.
Van Persie was the captain of Arsenal before he arrived at Old Trafford while, of course, was given the honour to lead his country by Van Gaal. He has also managed to retain his place in the club’s starting XI despite the arrival of Radamel Falcao, and has scored in each of his last two appearances.