The Hard Tackle takes a look at the most important Manchester United news that have been making the rounds.
Manchester United prepare to take on Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League later tonight. Ahead of the crunch clash though, here’s a roundup of everything happening in and around Old Trafford.
Henrik Larsson’s Manchester United regret
Former Manchester United striker Henrik Larsson has revealed the only regret he has in his illustrious career – not staying with the Red Devils for longer than his loan spell with the club. The Sweden legend, who enjoyed a stellar club career with Celtic and Barcelona, joined Manchester United on a two-month loan deal from Helsingborg in the 2006-07 season.
Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine, Larsson said: “That’s the only regret I have in my career. I should have stayed, as it would have meant I got a Premier League winners’ medal, and I would have stayed for one more season. But I still had a contract with Helsingborg and I feel that when you sign a contract, you have to see it out.”
Larsson rose to prominence during his seven-year, trophy laden spell with Celtic, where he scored 221 goals. The Swede could only represent Manchester United 13 times before he rejoined parent club Helsingborg, scoring thrice during the two-month period at Old Trafford. United went on to win the Premier League title by six points that season. However, Larsson was unable to collect a winner’s medal.
Rio Ferdinand believes Wayne Rooney still has a role to play at Manchester United
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has opined that club captain Wayne Rooney still has a massive role to play at the club. The former England and United centre-back believes that Rooney can turn into a valuable squad player for Manchester United, much like Ryan Giggs did during the latter stages of his career.
Speaking to ESPN FC, Ferdinand said: “I still think he has a massive part to play. He sets up goals, he creates chances. He’s a different player at a different time in his career. He has different attributes which are going to jump out at you more — his ability to pass the ball, find people in space and then when chances do come his way, he can dispatch them too.
“So you’ve got to look for different things in Wayne Rooney nowadays. There’s a role for him to play in that team.”
Wayne Rooney has been used sparingly by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho this season, lining up in the starting XI in one game and then starting from the bench in the next. Recent performances though suggest that Mourinho’s decision has been a masterstroke as Rooney is beginning to rediscover top form, turning in impressive displays for his side in the thumping wins over Feyenoord and West Ham United.
‘Give Mourinho Time’
Ferdinand, meanwhile, has urged the Manchester United faithful to remain patient with manager Jose Mourinho. Saying that the “Fergie era” is over, the Manchester United legend pointed out that the club is going through a building phase, and Mourinho should be given enough time to mould the Red Devils squad in his image.
Continuing in the same ESPN FC interview, Ferdinand said: “He had a massive transfer window in terms of bringing in [Paul] Pogba, [Eric] Bailly, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] but those guys have got to integrate within this team. This isn’t a Fergie era. This is a building process. He’s got to build.
“Jose Mourinho — with the experience he has got at big clubs, winning big trophies, a huge personality — the minimum he deserves is at least one or two more transfer windows to really say ‘this is my team now.'”
Manchester United currently sit sixth in the Premier League table with 21 points, a massive 13 points behind table toppers Chelsea. The Old Trafford club has found winning to be a tough proposition in the league, drawing six of their last eight games since the start of October. The latest result, a 1-1 stalemate at Everton, saw them lose further ground on their rivals as they now lie nine points adrift of a Top 4 spot.