Photos: Wayne Rooney back in training after being left out with illness

by Leo Nieboer

Wayne Rooney has been pictured back in training ahead of Saturday’s game against Watford after missing last weekend’s win over Leicester City through illness.

The Englishman, whose last Premier League start dates back to December, didn’t travel to the King Power Stadium last Sunday.

Jose Mourinho’s men hardly felt the effects of Rooney’s absence, rampaging to a comfortable 3-0 win courtesy of goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata.

The 31-year-old was seen putting in the hard yards this week, however, and will be in line to face Walter Mazzarri’s men at Old Trafford.

It’s hardly a brand new phenomenon, but one really does have to question exactly how Rooney can ever reestablish himself in the first team under Mourinho.

The No.9 role has been a lost cause all season, with both Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford combining as a dangerous, undisturbed pair. And now it looks as if the No.10 role – a position occupied by many, including Rooney, in the past few years but mastered – belongs to Mkhitaryan once and for all.

The Armenian brings a lethal combination of raw speed, awareness, technical bravado and composure that nobody at the club can replicate, seemingly leaving Rooney to live out his days at Man United as a token squad player.

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