Stuart Pearce has revealed his opinion that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney’s injury could be a blessing for England.
The United captain didn’t travel with his teammates for their Europa League clash against Midtjylland on Thursday, with Louis van Gaal confirming that he sustained a knee injury in the loss to Sunderland last weekend.
With reports suggesting that Rooney could now miss up to two months of action with the issue, his place at Euro 2016 is undoubtedly going to come under threat.
Having now been ruled out of two warm-up matches against Germany and Holland on March 26 and March 29 respectively, Roy Hodgson will be forced to consider his other options and Pearce believes that might be a positive thing.
“I think it’s a real bonus, although Wayne won’t see it like that,” Pearce told Sky Sports News HQ. “It freshens him up for the summer and gives Roy (Hodgson) the chance to look at a few of the other players.
“If Wayne was in the squad I think Roy would have felt obliged to play him in the warm-up games and that blocks a place for one of the younger players to come in and get some experience.
“We know what he can do and I don’t think we would have learned anything from playing in the friendlies.”
In contrast, Pearce believes that it will have a negative effect on United as Rooney had found his form in recent weeks to solve his side’s goalscoring problems.
Former United star Danny Higginbotham also insisted that it could spell trouble for Van Gaal, as Rooney’s absence will force them to play in front of teams rather than be able to get in behind them, and that could lead to further issues with goals.