Jose Mourinho insists he expects more goals from Wayne Rooney at Man United

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has called on Wayne Rooney to improve his goalscoring tally at Manchester United this season.

The 31-year-old, who scored eight league goals last season, has managed just three goals in 20 appearances under Mourinho.

His only Premier League goal dates back to the opening day of the season – a header that helped Man United to a 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth.

Mourinho, speaking after United’s 2-0 win over Zorya Luhansk, claimed that he expected more goals from his captain.

“As an attacking player, normally he [Rooney] scores more goals. He scored a couple, I think, at Fenerbahce and one in the Premier League,” Mourinho said. 

“We expect more goals from him, yes, but we expect more goals from everyone in the team.

“Maybe Zlatan is the one, but as the main striker it is normal that he has more goals scored. But all the other attacking players, we expect more goals from them.

“With me, he is an attacking player.

“In the national team, they can do with him what they want to do. In the national team he is their player, he is not my player, and they can do what they want.

“If they want to play him right-back, they can play him right-back. It’s not my problem, but in my team, he is an attacking player — he will play as a nine or a 10, or eventually coming from one of the sides.”

Rooney’s current style massively differs from the rumbustious, goal-scoring approach seen during his golden ages. The Englishman is slower, less agile, and as a result more dependent on creating space through crafty positioning. Playing on the last line of defence requires immense levels of energy and speed, and as a result Rooney has growingly developed an aptitude for dropping deeper, moving further away from the opposition goal.

And this, needless to say, precludes Rooney from finding goal-scoring positions. The captain will most definitely need to adopt a different approach if he wants to improve his goals tally.

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