Wayne Rooney: I want to prove myself at Man United to Jose Mourinho

by Leo Nieboer

Wayne Rooney has expressed his desire to prove himself to new boss Jose Mourinho ahead of Manchester United’s pre-season tour.

The 30-year-old returned from his summer break following Euro 2016 in time for the side’s pre-season tour of China.

Rooney failed to reach double figures in Premier League goals for the first time in a Man United shirt last season, and was subject to widespread derision in light of a catalogue of poor performances from fans and pundits alike.

Speaking after his first training session under Mourinho, Rooney admitted that he has a point to prove after a tumultuous campaign last year.

“I think you always feel pressure when you play for Manchester United,” said Rooney.

“It’s one of the biggest – if not the biggest – clubs in the world and it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to play for them for so long.

“You always feel you have to prove yourself every season, because it’s a dream to play for them.

“I’ve only had one day [training with Mourinho] since we came out, but it was a very good day, the training session.

“But I think you only have to look at the teams he’s had before, and the success he’s had with them, and we’re hoping he can bring that to us.”

Very rarely has Rooney been under so much pressure ahead of a new season. He sits in between two very different opinions: one being the popular notion that, as a striker, he is finished; and the other being the opinion of Mourinho, who has insisted that the 30-year-old will, as captain, lead the line of a side expected to mount a title challenge.

As he steps up his preparations for what will be his thirteenth season at Old Trafford, Rooney will know that he faces the challenge of both paying back the faith placed in him by Mourinho and proving a large section of United’s fan base wrong. It is, in many ways, a make or break season for the Englishman.

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