Micah Richards, an ex-Manchester City defender, has encouraged Manchester United captain Harry Maguire to hand up the armband to Cristiano Ronaldo.
In his SportsMail column, Richards stated that Maguire “needs help” and that he would not join the chorus of condemnation.
He said: “Harry Maguire needs help in his role as Manchester United captain. This may sound like I’m joining the flood of criticism, but that is absolutely not the case.
“Questioning whether the armband could, in the short term, be passed to Cristiano Ronaldo is no reflection on Harry’s ability or character.”
Richards further explained that Maguire was experiencing a torrid time in his career, even with United fans.
“The situation, in my eyes, came to a head, on Tuesday against Atletico Madrid. I was in the studio, working for CBS, and when I heard some fans inside Old Trafford cheering as Harry was brought off, my heart sank.
“I’ve been in that position — some Aston Villa fans booed my name when it was read out at Villa Park once — and the feeling is like no other,” he added.