Man Utd duo stick up for ‘world-class’ Rooney

Date published: Monday 9th May 2016 9:03

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Wayne Rooney has received the backing of Manchester United team-mates Juan Mata and Ander Herrera ahead of the naming of England’s Euro 2016 squad.

Rooney has not scored for United since February 2 and is facing a battle to hold on to a starting place in the England team, with Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge all faring much better in front of goal this season.

However, Rooney had been used in a midfield role by United prior to Saturday’s win at Norwich City, where he set up the only goal for Mata, and the goalscorer believes it is that versatility which stands him out.

“Wayne does not have anything to prove,” Mata said. “He is a great player and will always be a great player. He can play as a striker, a winger and a midfielder as he has shown in the last few weeks.

“I would imagine that Roy Hodgson is very happy with the positions that Wayne can play in. Also with the experience he can bring to the dressing room.

“[Against Norwich] Wayne got an assist and showed very good movement. He played a great ball. Wayne is important for us no matter which position he plays in.”

Herrera added: “He is a world class player. He is not selfish either in the team or in the dressing room.

“He is a very good captain. Sometimes big players, world class players, can be selfish. Wayne is not. That is very important.

“England have a chance in the Euros. They are a very young team, a very quick team – but you also need players like Wayne or Michael Carrick. They are very important for the balance. It gives you a chance.

“I know for us Marcus [Rashford] and Anthony [Martial] are quicker but we know the quality of Wayne.

“He can assist, he can hold the ball up very well and he can play as an extra midfielder when we have the ball. That is very important when you have a team which likes to be the protagonist.

“Wayne is a team player, he wants to help the team. He is not selfish. He will play wherever the manager wants.”

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