Former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune insists Wayne Rooney is not finished at Old Trafford.
The 30-year-old was dropped from the starting XI ahead of Man United’s game with Leicester City in the wake of several abject performances.
Rooney’s exclusion, as demanded by most United fans, coincided with a blockbuster performance from Mourinho’s side, leading many into declaring his omission as the beginning of the end for the Englishman.
However, Fortune has claimed Rooney is far from finished at Old Trafford.
“No way in a million years am I going to say he’s finished,” he said.
“You need to have Wayne around the place. You find me a player with his influence, his history in the game, his experience.
“You speak to the players at Manchester United and how important he is on the pitch and off the pitch.
“He’s at the stage now in his life where he may not be able to play every game because as you get older, your body recovers differently.
“When he was 17 or 18, he could run through a brick wall. He went to play football with his mates after playing. I just think we need to have more patience with him.”
It is hard to see exactly how Rooney reasserts himself on the first-team. Saturday’s 4-1 win over Leicester was the clearest illustration of Rooney’s infectious influence on this side: without the 30-year-old bringing attacking movements to a dysfunctional standstill, Mourinho’s men wreaked havoc as Paul Pogba and Juan Mata, free to roam forward in Rooney’s absence, grabbed the champions by the jugular.
It was almost as if the side could finally breathe and open its wings. Reintroducing a player who precludes any chances of playing dynamically and aggressively simply makes no sense.