08/12/2009 09:19, Report by Ben Hibbs

Gallery: Reds in training

United's youngsters slotted in seamlessly at training on Monday, while Darren Fletcher emerged as potential skipper at the Volkswagen Arena (click the main image for a gallery)...

At Manchester Airport, United's young squad caused quite a stir. The journalists assembled by the check-in desk stood bemused doing their squad head-count, repeatedly asking, 'Who's that?!' as several new faces walked past in club blazer and tie.

For Magnus Eikrem, Matty James, Oliver Gill, Oliver Norwood and Cameron Stewart this is the opportunity of a lifetime. All five could be on the bench on Tuesday night at the Volkswagen Arena.

So training at Wolfsburg stadium on Monday was a good preview for the big occasion tonight, and the young lads looked completely at home alongside the likes of Paul Scholes, Michael Owen and co.

One though that struck me was the question of who will be captain. Scholes is the most senior professional, but he doesn't like the spotlight and you could see him gladly surrendering the captain's armband in favour of a more willing taker.

Personally, I think it should go to Darren Fletcher. And watching training on Monday only re-enforced that opinion because he was very vocal in training, encouraging the young players at every turn.

I've long been an advocate for Fletcher to be the next long-term appointment for the role of skipper. He's the complete professional, has a relentless desire to succeed and improve, and he knows what it means to come through the ranks and make it in the first-team. He's trodden the path that the young players in the squad are themselves attempting to go down now.


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