Ryan Giggs has come out in support of Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, claiming the England international is a ‘bit confused’ by his changed role under Jose Mourinho.
According to Tom Sheen of the Sun, the Old Trafford legend believes Rooney is confused because of being asked to play in several different positions in a relative short time span. The Englishman had transitioned to playing in a deeper position, but has been deployed further forward this season under new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
Giggs told ITV (h/t the Sun): “I feel a little bit sorry for him, towards last season and for England in the summer he was played in that deeper role, then he was told he’s playing as a No 9 or a No 10 [by Mourinho], he’s probably a bit confused.
“The only way he can get it back is on the training pitch. I don’t see him playing in a specific position, he’s got the talent to play so many positions, and the experience.”
In Mourinho’s first press conference as Manchester United boss, the Portuguese said that he will be deploying Rooney as a number nine or a number ten. He said he believed that the club captain has what it takes to put in stellar performances in the final third.
In the first few games of the season, it seemed the 30-year-old had turned a new leaf, registering a goal or an assist in the first three league matches. However, his performances have notably dipped since then and Mourinho has consigned him to the bench in favour of a faster and more dynamic attack. Rooney was recently dropped from the national side too and Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson was handed the Three Lions armband in his stead.
It remains to be seen whether or not the United captain makes his return to the starting lineup in Monday’s game against Liverpool. Rooney has played a number of games against the Reds and will be raring to seize the opportunity to silence his critics. However, given his recent performances, there is every chance that Mourinho will opt against selecting his captain for the most anticipated fixture in the Red Devils’ calendar.