Wayne Rooney has chosen a very bad time to have a bad patch of form. Manchester United’s recent poor run of results has set them back in the Premier League and the Europa League, and means that there will be no room for sentimentality in Jose Mourinho’s lineups from now on. Add that to the improvement in United’s form against Leicester without the England captain in the side, and you have a very tricky situation for Rooney.
Losses to Watford and Manchester City have seen United slip behind their city rivals in the title race, meaning that the in-form Juan Mata should be set to continue in the number ten role behind Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford after a great showing against the Foxes.
A Europa League loss to Feyenoord has United on the back foot in that competition too, and Rooney remained on the bench even in tonight’s apparently easy fixture against Zorya Luhansk.
Add that to the fact that United play City in the League Cup in late October, and even that traditional avenue for a player looking to break back into their side looks closed.
In fact, looking ahead at Manchester United’s schedule, the next game Jose Mourinho might consider risking starting Rooney is not until the 8th of December, when they travel to Ukraine to play Luhansk again. Will we see Rooney in the starting lineup again before then? It seems unlikely if Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata all continue to excel, especially with Paul Pogba’s price tag almost guaranteeing him a spot in midfield.