Jose Mourinho confirms England international Wayne Rooney will continue to be the captain of Manchester United, insisting that he places a lot of trust in the striker.
The former Everton man was handed the captain’s armband by previous manager Louis van Gaal after the departure of Nemanja Vidic to Inter Milan in 2014. There have been questions about the English captain’s fitness and stamina to play as a forward. Rooney himself admitted that he did not have the legs and lungs of a teenager and that his future may lie in midfield.
Jose Mourinho, in his first press conference as a United manager, revealed that he planned to use Rooney in attack and that the striker would never play as a midfielder under him. The manager was faced with more questions about Rooney’s role in the team — particularly his role as captain — ahead of the Red Devils’ game against Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup in Shanghai.
“I am quite surprised with so many question marks around this guy,” he told the reporters, according to ESPN. “He is the club captain, he is the manager’s captain, he is the players’ captain. I trust him a lot. I think he’s going to be a very important player for me.”
Mourinho, however, was quick to add that the current Manchester United captain would have to work hard to impress him and retain his place in the starting eleven.
“He knows that he has to work hard, he knows that but I think that is nothing new in his career. Everything he got I see nobody offer him, he had to fight for it. With me it is not going to be different.”
The statements by Mourinho make it clear that Wayne Rooney shall remain an integral part of the first-team setup at Old Trafford and will retain the captain’s armband. There are still doubts over his place in the starting lineup and as Mourinho said, the captain must fight for his place just like the others. Wayne Rooney is not a player to run away from a fight and would relish the chance to prove himself again to the United faithful and his new manager.