Jose Mourinho has explained why he has decided to leave Wayne Rooney out of Manchester United’s squad for Thursday’s Europa League clash against Feyenoord.
The United boss has taken a 20-man squad to Rotterdam but his decision to leave out Rooney, the team’s captain, has raised eyebrows amongst both the media and the Red Devils’ supporters.
However, during his pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Mourinho explained his decision and also revealed how Rooney reacted.
“Well, he plays every game since the beginning of the season," Mourinho explained. "He also played 90 minutes for the England team, he played 90 minutes last weekend.
“I want him to be fresh for the next Premier League match [against Watford on Sunday].”
Rooney's reaction to Mourinho's decision
On his reaction, Paul Hirst of The Times quotes Mourinho as saying that Rooney took the decision “in a professional way.”
Rooney's performances haven't been spectacular this term
Rooney has scored one goal in four appearances for United this season - in the 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium a month ago - but his overall contribution during matches has been a cause of much debate amongst fans.
Some feel the team might have more balance if Rooney was to drop out of the team altogether.
Carragher: Rooney has to improve
Former Liverpool defender turned Sky Sports pundit, Jamie Carragher, also believed the England skipper must improve in order to retain his place in Mourinho’s starting line-up.
"Wayne Rooney has got a bigger problem at Manchester United in terms of getting in this team over the next three or four months than he does with England," Carragher said, per Goal.
"He can still play for England. He's got a bigger problem [at United] because there are better options for where he wants to play.
"Wayne was poor at the weekend and he will have to improve if he wants to stay at Manchester United."
Is Jose Mourinho right to leave Wayne Rooney out of his squad? Have your say by leaving a comment below.