Rooney has been the subject of widespread derision in recent weeks, infuriating Manchester United fans with a series of poor performances under Jose Mourinho.
His continued ineptitude led to an exclusion from the starting XI, prompting many into seeing this current spell on the sidelines as the “beginning of the end” for Rooney.
However, Lingard believes nobody can criticise a player who has won so much during his time at Old Trafford.
“I think that really because (of what he’s achieved) no one can say anything (bad) about him really,” he said.
“He’s been a top professional on and off the field for us and we look up to him as well. He’s determined to get back and hopefully he can do that.
“I think he’s very determined (to win his place back). Even though he hasn’t been playing for the club, he’s still supporting us and he’s going to get back into the fold.
“He’s remained captain here which is great and that will be great for his confidence as well. I’ve known Wayne for a long time and he’s very determined to play. He’s got a love for the game which hasn’t left him.”
Nobody can question Rooney’s achievements as a Man United player: ten major trophies, 246 goals, and countless individual accolades. That will be forever written in stone, enshrined in the club’s history and remembered fondly.
Those feats, however, whilst undoubtedly admirable, belong to the past. They are a symbol of a glorious career that has long since bypassed him: the rambunctious, petulant, effervescent figure that United fans knew and loved has gone, and in its place it, well, the dejected, sluggish No.10 we see today.
And as supporters, as devotees who want to see Mourinho’s men succeed, it is certainly acceptable to criticise something that evidently precludes the side from reaching its full potential.