Derby County host Manchester United in the FA Cup on Thursday evening, with all the build-up being centred around Wayne Rooney.
The Rams’ skipper spent thirteen years with the Red Devils, winning countless trophies and leaving as the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
This will be the first time that Rooney faces off against his former side since 2018, when he did so playing for Everton. The forward will no doubt receive a hero’s response from the travelling Red Devils, having provided the fans with so many good memories during his tenure at the club.
Ahead of his return, Rooney has been speaking highly about his former team.
As quoted by The Mirror, he said: “For me, it is a big game playing against my former team. I captained Everton against them and it is always strange when you play against a former team, especially when you have been there so long. I love the club and it is a team I want to do well and win.”
The Englishmen clearly still feels an attachment to the club where he spent the majority of his career. However, given his winning mentality, such emotions will be suspended when the game begins:
“I have visited Derby as a Manchester United player in the FA Cup before and know what it means to the fans and staff here. It is for us as players to go on the pitch to try and get a good result.”
Derby’s form has significantly improved since Rooney arrived, with the forward contributing to five goals in his opening eleven games. Reaching the play-offs remains a distant dream for the Rams, but reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup would surely be their highlight of the season.
Rooney won the competition once during his time in Manchester, and would no doubt love to taste such silverware again with his new side.