Following the announcement that Michael Carrick has been made Manchester United’s new vice-captain, one wonders what the future holds for the former holder of that title, Darren Fletcher.
The Scotland international was made United’s back-up skipper shortly after Louis van Gaal took charge in the summer, with the midfielder seemingly set to play a vital role for the Dutchman.
But with the campaign approaching its halfway point, Fletcher has played just 340 minutes of first-team football this season, featuring predominantly as a late substitute and making his first start since late August against Aston Villa this weekend.
Shortly after the announcement that Carrick would act as Wayne Rooney’s deputy, van Gaal revealed that Fletcher would be his third option as captain, but having featured so little in recent months there is a distinct possibility the midfielder could be on his way.
Fletcher has been a vital part of United for many seasons, and it was a huge boost when he finally overcame ulcerative colitis when it had previously appeared his career could be over. But having fought back from the debilitating illness the 30-year-old is unlikely to want to spend the majority of his time on the bench or out of the side altogether.
Hull City has been tipped as a potential loan destination and with United set to strengthen their midfield further in due course, it would be no surprise if Fletcher ultimately leaves.
It would be a sad day for United fans if it happened, but the Scot deserves to play, and when you consider the likes of Ander Herrera are struggling for game-time at the moment, Fletcher’s glory days at Old Trafford could be a thing of the past.