Manchester United legend Paul Scholes believes that Wayne Rooney may reassess his position at the club in the summer if he continues to play a bit-part role for Jose Mourinho.
The 31-year-old has made 29 appearances in all competitions so far this season, scoring five and providing 10 assists, but he has been far from a regular starter under the Portuguese tactician.
Having had to settle for a role on the bench, with fierce competition for places likely keeping him there this season and beyond with younger and fresher options at Mourinho’s disposal, it has naturally led to question marks being raised over Rooney’s long-term future at Old Trafford.
While he certainly still has plenty of quality and adds experience to the squad, Scholes believes that if the current situation continues, then the England international may consider his options in the summer with no shortage of interest from around the world.
“It’s a strange one. No one will be more frustrated than Wayne at not playing. Being a sub will be driving him up the wall. When he gets his chance he has to take it because he has real competition,” he told The Daily Mail.
“It will be killing him just coming in for the Europa League or the FA Cup. But it’s up to him to get his head down and prove he can play in the big games.
“If it carries on going the way it is, I can’t. Maybe it will be re-assessed at the end of the season if he’s in and out of the team. I don’t see him as a player who will accept that. He will want to be at a team where he’s playing every week.”
Rooney has been linked with moves to MLS and China over recent months, and having now surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton to become the club’s all-time top goalscorer, it seems like a natural decision to now move on and leave his legacy at United at its highest point.
He’ll undoubtedly be desperate to prove that he still has a big part to play for the Red Devils, but with the likes of Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard representing the future of the club, he may well be crowded out and forced to make a difficult decision.