Some fans called for Bruno to be stripped of the armband, forcing Ten Hag to address this issue ahead of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie.

Bruno Fernandes has sparked tremendous debate regarding his role as Manchester United captain, with several fans calling for the Portuguese ace to be stripped of the armband following his antics in the 7-0 loss to Liverpool.

The midfielder was accused of whinging, faking injuries, and throwing his arms up in the air in the face of adversity while Red Devils suffered their greatest-ever defeat in Premier League history.

In the aftermath of that result, the Daily Mail reported on reservations from the club and fellow players regarding Fernandes and his suitability for the captaincy. While Harry Maguire is the official first-team captain, the English center-back rarely starts, meaning Bruno often dons the armband.

And with the world's most-expensive defender set to depart the club this summer in favor of playing time elsewhere, a new permanent skipper must be selected. However, will the former Sporting CP ace be up for consideration or will Ten Hag opt to hand the role to David de Gea, Raphael Varane, or even Casemiro?

Speaking ahead of their UEFA Europa League showdown with Real Betis, the Dutch manager was asked this question. And to little surprise, Ten Hag unequivocally threw his support behind the Portuguese star.

The former Ajax boss was straight to the point: Bruno will wear the armband in every game Harry Maguire fails to start. Additionally, the 53-year-old shielded his player from the avalanche of criticism, stating that no one is perfect and that Fernandes remains an inspirational leader at Old Trafford.

"He's playing a brilliant season. He's had a really important role in why we're in the position we are," the tactician said ahead of the 1st leg.

"He's giving energy to the team, not only running a lot at the highest intensity but in the right way and right direction. He's coaching players, he's an inspiration.

"But no-one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes. We have to learn and he has to learn. He will because he's intelligent. I'm happy to have Bruno Fernandes in the team and he will be captain when Harry isn't on the pitch."

Nonetheless, improvement will be needed from Bruno if the 28-year-old is to leave his mark as a Manchester United captain. While the player's footballing ability cannot be questioned, his leadership skills have often been criticized.

However, the most important thing for Fernandes and Co. to do is issue a response in their next game. The Red Devils will host Real Betis for the 1st leg of their round of 16 showdown, having overcome Barcelona in the Knockout Round Playoffs, and will need to put that 7-0 loss behind them immediately.