Wayne Rooney won’t be recalled for Premier League clash with Stoke City

by Leo Nieboer

Wayne Rooney will not be recalled to the starting XI for Manchester United’s Premier League game with Stoke City on Sunday, according to reports. 

The 30-year-old was omitted from Jose Mourinho’s starting XI ahead of the clash with Leicester City in the wake of woeful performances against Watford and Northampton Town.

Rooney’s exclusion coincided with Man United’s best performance of the season, hallmarked by the sudden freedom experienced by Paul Pogba and Juan Mata in the Englishman’s absence.

According to Sky Sports, Rooney will start against Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League, but will not feature against Mark Hughes’ side on Sunday.

It may be an annoying, outdated platitude, but the ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ attitude applies when it comes to the subject of Rooney.

For the first time under Mourinho, United fans were able to witness exactly what this side is capable of when liberated from the contagious inertia brought by Rooney’s presence. And, wow, it was a sight to behold.

Pogba and Mata, two notably muted figures this season, were suddenly wreaking havoc, pouring forward with the same fervour of two Pit bulls chasing after a steak. There was a newfound malice, a constant emphasis on dynamic, fast, ruthless football, and Leicester simply could’t cope.

How, then, do you possibly justify reintroducing the very thing that was holding such attacking verve back in the first place?

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