Former Manchester United striker and club record scorer Wayne Rooney says Erik ten Hag should drop Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford.
Writing his column for The Times, the current DC United manager says neither player brings enough to the table defensively and that ultimately proves to be a hindrance to the team, especially when Ten Hag wants his team to work hard as a unit.
Rooney said: “I wouldn’t play Cristiano Ronaldo, and I wouldn’t play Marcus Rashford. If I was in Ten Hag’s position my main concern would be getting energy on the pitch.”
Rooney also argues that he would stick with players like Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay and Fred – because they always have the right attitude. None of the successful sides he played in had problems with attitude and Sir Alex Ferguson would flush out whoever he deemed worthy of the axe if he needed to.
That said, we need better players in the transfer window and time is running out.
Dropping Ronaldo and Rashford would be a statement from Ten Hag and it would be a brave call. Right now, the manager doesn’t have a lot of options in the attacking department.
Rooney is particularly worried about Rashford, adding: “I think he needs to do a lot of soul-searching and figure out what he wants, for his own good, before anything else.
“Because watching him is a real concern: he looks like he wants to be anywhere but on a football pitch. I haven’t seen him smile on the field for a long time.”
Rooney also believes United were over-reliant on Ronaldo last season due to a lack of strategy. He said: “He’s [Ronaldo] a great player and will always score goals but the task for Ten Hag is to produce a team that can compete for the title in three or four years’ time. That means rebuilding with younger players.”