Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football European

United ready to keep faith with Rooney

 

By Jm Gracey

Wayne Rooney could be called upon to deliver a parting gift to Manchester United ahead of his expected summer departure from Old Trafford.

Rooney's powers are waning at 31 but he is still the United captain and manager Jose Mourinho insisted he could have a role to play as an impact sub in tonight's Europa League quarter-final second leg against Anderlecht with the sides locked at 1-1 and the competition looking like offering United's best avenue back to the Champions League next season.

Rooney has been struggling with an ankle injury but is set to return to the bench, having linked up with the squad at the team hotel on the eve of the match after coming through yesterday's training session.

"He is working now, he is improving," Mourino said.

"His experience, his know-how of this knock-out phase, I think is a player who can be useful. If we need a goal, he can help us. If we need to keep a result, to keep the ball, to keep control by having possession, he can help us."

Juan Mata, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are definitely out of a quarter-final clash that Sergio Romero will start instead of first-choice goalkeeper David De Gea.

Top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return after being rested in Sunday's 2-0 win over Chelsea.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph