Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has sensationally revealed that Wayne Rooney could have to play off the bench for most of this season as summer signing Dimitar Berbatov eases into the mix at Old Trafford.
The 22-year-old England star joined United from Everton four years ago and has been an assured starter so far. But with the arrival of Bulgarian ace Berbatov and Argentine international striker Carlos Tevez playing extremely well, Rooney might just have to adapt to life as a substitute.
Sir Alex himself made the fact clear, saying: “They all know it has to happen. I understand that some players want to play every week — Eric Cantona was like that — but it cannot happen.
“For too long I’ve been operating with two strikers, which is ridiculous for a club of this size.
“To achieve what we want to achieve we need four strikers of the quality we had in 1999 with Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Solskjaer.
“Whoever plays will not be down to performance. It will just be about keeping them fresh. For example, in 1999 Yorke and Cole had a great partnership so they were always in front.
“Yet it would be Solskjaer and Sheringham scoring the goals at the right time because I could freshen things up.”
So does this mean the somewhat over-rated Rooney would be relegated to the substitutes’ bench? Well, seems so and indeed the off-colour England star needs a shake-up.