Man United boss Jose Mourinho has insisted that Wayne Rooney has a chance of starting against Southampton in the EFL Cup final on Sunday.
The 31-year-old has started just three games since the Christmas period, while he has been limited to just 45 minutes of play through February thus far due to injury.
In turn, his participation in the clash with the Saints this weekend is rightfully under doubt, but with Henrikh Mkhitaryan ruled out due to injury, it could open up a spot for the England international.
Mourinho has insisted that sentiment won’t play any part in his decision, but neither will form to an extent. His decisions will be based on putting out his strongest possible line-up, and Rooney may well still feature.
“Only the best 11 players. We win all together,” he told the media, as reported by Sky Sports.
“It doesn’t matter if you play or didn’t play, if you play a lot or don’t play much. I go for the best possible team. I have to make a decision. You know that we normally play two different systems. Sometimes we play with two midfield players and a ‘Number 10’, if you want to call it that.
“A final is a special match and he’s an option for me.”
After significant speculation linked him with an exit this month, Rooney will likely be relieved that he’s able to focus on football on Sunday as he looks to win his third League Cup after successes in 2006 and 2010.
Whether it’s the last trophy he wins at United remains to be seen, but what is for sure is that he’ll be desperate to get on the pitch at Wembley on Sunday and contribute to a win for his side.