TalkSPORT pundit and former footballer Perry Groves thinks Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney could still do a job in the Red Devils midfield.
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Rooney made his comeback to English football at Derby County on Thursday night, delivering a debut assist as he helped the Rams to a 2-1 victory over Barnsley.
In a rather scathing attack on the current United midfield just days after his former club Arsenal had beaten them in the Premier League, Groves claimed that Rooney would still be of use to the Red Devils if he were still at the club today.
Speaking on TalkSPORT, Groves criticised the likes of Fred and Nemanja Matic, before claiming that even he was better than Jesse Lingard himself – and that Rooney would improve the United midfield, saying: “Yes, undoubtedly. He would, 100%.
“He’s better than Fred and he’s better than Matic – I’m better than Lingard.
“Wayne Rooney is that good, he can still play in that United team.
“He reminds me of Paul Scholes. He used to be a player who got in the box, then as he got older, he had to drop a bit deeper and started being the playmaker.
“Rooney can do that in a heartbeat. He would improve United, 100%.”
While Groves implying that Manchester United’s midfield has underperformed so far this season may be a fair opinion, his assertion that Rooney would improve it is so bold, it is difficult to take it seriously – as co-host Andy Goldstein demonstrated.
United’s midfielders are struggling to stand out within their squad, never mind the Premier League – with Fred, Matic, Andreas Pereira, Lingard and Juan Mata all delivering average match ratings below 7/10 in the league, according to WhoScored.
Though given Rooney has played in Major League Soccer and decided to drop to the Championship following his last Premier League game for Everton in April 2018, it doesn’t appear that the man himself backs his ability to deliver at the top level.
That looks to make the likelihood of him being useful to United at present rather small, though even if Groves is entirely serious, the bottom line would perhaps be the damning indictment that would be of the current crop.
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