Wayne Rooney, a Manchester United veteran, has urged the club’s next manager to stick with four players he believes will be key next season.
United are having a difficult season following the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with interim coach Ralf Rangnick unable to dramatically improve the club’s fortunes since taking over last year, with the most recent setback being a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City.
With Mauricio Pochettino or Erik ten Hag the frontrunners to take over as permanent manager in the summer, a number of players’ futures could be in jeopardy, and Rooney has pleaded with the club to stick by a handful of players he believes will be crucial next season, speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
Jadon Sancho, a £73 million signing from Borussia Dortmund last summer, struggled at first to demonstrate his true potential before blossoming in the second half of the season, while Marcus Rashford’s future is questionable after Rangnick benched him in the past three games.But Rooney believes both will be much better next season, and he also believes Jesse Lingard, despite appearing to be on his way out on a free transfer, will play more minutes, while praising Scott McTominay.
‘I think [Jadon] Sancho will be better next year,’ Rooney stated on the show. ‘I think Marcus [Rashford] will be better next year.”They have some talented young guys.’ Jesse Lingard, I believe, should play for them since he is energetic and of high talent. Scott McTominay has done a fantastic job.’
Rooney, who is presently the manager of Derby County, feels United’s troubles this season are due to a lack of confidence, and he has supported the new manager to instil confidence in the group while distributing fresh acquisitions.
‘So they do have some good young players; all you have to do now is instil some confidence in them and convince them that they are good players who can produce at the highest level.’
‘And then, whoever the new manager is, I’m sure he’ll bring in his own players and continue to build on it.’Rashford has only four goals and two assists in the Premier League this season, starting only ten games and making another ten appearances from the bench.
Sancho has started more games (17), but has only three goals to his credit, with another three assists.
Rooney, on the other hand, believes United should get rid of Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo, a former teammate.
Rooney believes the team requires ‘younger, eager players,’ claiming that Pogba, in particular, has not made an impact.
‘I think it’s definitely reached to the point where he should probably move on,’ Rooney told Sky Sports.
‘If Paul is being honest with himself, I believe he hasn’t had the impact he would have desired since returning to Manchester United.’
‘When I see him play for France, it’s clear that he’s a completely different player.’ In every game, France has the ability, vision, and control of the game. It just hasn’t worked out for him at Manchester United.’When asked about Ronaldo’s effect since his return to England, Rooney said that the move had not been successful for the Red Devils.
When asked if Ronaldo’s return to the Premier League has benefited United, Rooney replied, ‘You’d have to say no.’
‘He’s scored, and he’s scored big goals early in the season in Champions League games.’ Against Tottenham, he scored a hat-trick.
‘However, I believe that if you are looking to the club’s future, you must go with younger, more eager players who will do all in their power to lift Manchester United over the next two or three years.’