Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes that defender Chris Smalling could be the future captain of the club.
Van Gaal is impressed by Smalling’s leadership qualities, and said in a recent interview that he could be a future captain.
“Wayne Rooney is the captain and then Michael Carrick but when they are gone then Chris Smalling can do that,” Van Gaal told The Daily Mail.
“So I push him also in that situation.”
Van Gaal was asked what he has done to transform Smalling in the past 12 months.
“Every player makes the steps by himself,” van Gaal said. “I just put him in the situation and I help him in the situation and I advise and the player can either take it on board or not.
“It is his responsibility. He has done this by himself.
“It is about how we defend as a team but he is a part of that and I wanted him to speak.
“He also has the talent to speak. That makes him easy to coach. Because of that I made him a leader of the team.
“He has made steps and also in a tactical way. When you give instructions in terms of organisation, you need someone to understand that.
“He is a structured person. He accepted it more quicker.”
United takes on rivals City in the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford on Sunday. United is coming off a 1-1 draw against CSKA Moscow mid-week in the Champions League. City grabbed a 2-1 win over Sevilla after a late winner by Kevin De Bruyne.