Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Wayne Rooney will only flourish with pace around him in attack.
Rooney had another game to forget as Man United limped to a 1-1 draw away at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday and their skipper was underwhelming, not for the first time this season.
The 29-year-old has been struggling since the start of the campaign with just two goals in the Premier League and none in the group stage of Europe’s elite competition.
However, Scholes is refusing to lay all the blame on the striker. The BT Sport pundit gave his thoughts on the striker after the game: “He’s no good with no pace around him. I was exactly the same, I need pace, I need movement around me. Wayne Rooney‘s not getting that so it makes him look not the player he should be.”
It is a strange statement from Scholes, given the players that have been deployed around their skipper in the past few weeks. Rooney has had the likes of Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay and now Jesse Lingard in midfield behind him and all three players have pace to burn. However, the Englishman has still struggled to get himself involved, regardless of bringing other players into the game.
Rooney’s start to the season has him under a lot of pressure going into the Manchester derby this weekend. He will know that fans are beginning to lose patience with him and he will be desperate for a goal in one of the biggest games of the season. It will be up to Louis van Gaal to decide if Rooney keeps his place in the side or not. Despite Scholes’ claims, Rooney’s performances this season have been poor regardless of the display put on by the rest of his side.
Bringing in pace to the starting XI has not seemed to help Rooney and it may be time for the likes of Scholes and van Gaal to stop making excuses for him and get to the root of the problem or drop him from the team altogether.