Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has urged Gareth Southgate to drop Wayne Rooney for England, insisting he may not be able to perform against top sides.
He claimed Rooney was able to function in midfield against lesser opposition like Malta, but will struggle when he comes up against tough competition.
Rooney played alongside Jordan Henderson in their 2-0 win over Malta and was heavily criticised by fans on social media and was even booed by supporters at Wembley in the second-half.
Speaking about Rooney, Smith believes he won’t be able to cement his place in the No.10 role.
“Rooney played in that deep-lying position next to Jordan Henderson, who was man of the match by some distance; some of his passing was quite superb,” he said.
“Rooney had loads of time because Malta had dropped off and he was able to lift his head and pick his passes like he was in training.
“It’s going to be interesting, I can’t really see him in that position against better opposition, and I can’t really see him playing in that position against Slovenia on Tuesday, when he’s actually got to do more defending. So there’s a question mark there because Dele Alli did really well in the No 10 position behind Daniel Sturridge and he seems to be cementing his place there.”
Rooney seems to be stuck in Louis van Gaal‘s system, consistently passing the ball sideways and slowing down the tempo of the match for both club and country.
He lost his place in the starting XI under Jose Mourinho and could be set to lose his place for England after yet another disappointing showing.
With Eric Dier set to return to the side against Slovenia, it remains to be seen wether he’ll be able to keep his place in the team.