Former Manchester United winger Luis Nani insists Wayne Rooney can still be the best player at Old Trafford.
A series of woeful performances, most recently against League One side Northampton Town, have led to widespread calls for the captain’s omission from the starting XI.
Even former players – normally staunch supporters of Rooney – such as Chris Sutton and Stan Collymore have insisted the 30-year-old doesn’t deserve a starting place.
However Nani, who played alongside Rooney for eight seasons at Old Trafford, believes the striker can still be the best player at Man United.
“Rooney is a special player. Strong, fantastic quality, shooting, vision – very intelligent,” he said.
“I enjoyed playing with him. He is a player who is a big part of Man United.
“He has a chance to improve that and build his story. If he continues to play at high level he can become the best there.”
The key line here is: “if he continues to play at a high level.” And, in a sense, Nani is right. If Rooney was able to play at his boisterous, effervescent best, then yes, he might just be United’s best player.
But the sad reality is that Rooney reached the height of his powers many years ago: that pugnacious, unyielding force of nature in attack has come and gone, leaving United fans with a captain well and truly entering the nadir of his career under Jose Mourinho.