Manchester United’s figurehead and captain’s time left on the squad was under question during Louis Van Gaal’s tenure.
Struggling to find a proper position for himself as he adapted to a deeper role in the midfield the question has naturally risen, is there any place for Wayne in Jose Mourinho’s starting 11?
At 30 Wayne appears to certainly have the attitude necessary to welcome a new manager. He had nothing but good things to say about Mourinho to Inside United,
“I’ve always respected him both as a man and a manager, he’s a nice guy and one of the most successful managers of all time. I like to think I’m always motivated as a player but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit more motivated when a new manager comes in.”
Wayne also went on to compare his experiences playing against a Mourinho coached squad,
“I’ve played against many Mourinho sides over the years and I can’t remember any easy games, so I think that says it all. His teams are always hard to beat, tactically disciplined and, most importantly, successful.”
Mourinho didn’t shy away from talking about Rooney either, and he made clear that he does have plans for the English striker, just not along the same lines that LVG had.
“In football there are many jobs on the field,” said Mourinho. “The one that is more difficult to find is the one that puts the ball in the net. Players change during the years of course, their qualities change, so it is normal that a player at his [Wayne’s] age changes a little bit.”
“However, something that will never change is the natural appetite to put the ball in the net. Maybe he is not a striker anymore, but he will never be a no.6 for me, he will never be someone playing 60 metres from the goal.”
It sounds as if Mourinho may groom Rooney to play clean-up duty to newly signed Ibrahimovic, making the goal hound capitalize on any shots that may rebound back into traffic.
While the partnership seems sound in theory, and the opportunity to have two strikers feed off each other looks good on paper, if the machine starts to sputter it’s likely that Mourinho’s going find fault with Rooney before Zlatan.
Do you see the offensive duo of Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic terrorizing the English Premier League? Let us know if you think the Red Devils will find success.