Ross Barkley has insisted that Wayne Rooney helps England’s squad on and off the pitch amid suggestions that there is no room for the 30-year-old in Roy Hodgson’s side.
England beat Germany 3-2 in a friendly last week without the injured Rooney, leading to suggestions that he should be dropped from the starting XI.
However, Barkley believes that England will lean heavily on Rooney at the European Championships this summer.
“He has the experience, and he passes it on to the younger lads in the squad. He helps us younger lads around the place with the knowledge he has built up in the past tournaments and qualifying stages. That helps us all,” Barkley said.
“It’s just a great bunch of lads and there are lots of options for the manager. We’ve got a few lads who aren’t even in the squad, like Wayne, and there are goals all around the squad. That’s good to see because we all know the goals we need can come from anywhere.”
Rooney is expected to return to action next month following a spell on the sidelines with knee ligament damage.
The Manchester United captain has a wealth of experience at the highest level but his decline in recent years has been exacerbated by the good form of players such as Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane. That being said, he was arguably Man United’s best player at the start of the year prior to his injury and he will want to pick up where he left off when he returns to fitness.