Thursday, May 30, 2024

Wayne Rooney gives ruthless verdict on the state of Manchester United as he urges club to ‘get rid’ of most of their squad and warns it could take 15 YEARS to win the Champions League again

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Wayne Rooney has delivered a brutal verdict on Manchester United‘s squad, believing that most of them should be moved on by the club.

United’s all-time leading scorer was speaking after their 3-2 victory over Newcastle on Wednesday night.

It was a positive result in their final match at Old Trafford this season, but it has been a bitterly disappointing season, with fans holding out hope they can end the campaign on a high by pulling off an upset against rivals Man City in the FA Cup final.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Rooney appeared to catch presenter David Jones off guard with his damning assessment of United’s current squad.

Rooney said: ‘You have to build the team around Bruno. He’s quality and has got fight in him, and then I think all the other players get rid of them.’

Wayne Rooney has called for a ‘massive clear out’ of Manchester United’s current squad 

Rooney delivered a brutal verdict on the squad after their 3-2 victory against Newcastle

Rooney delivered a brutal verdict on the squad after their 3-2 victory against Newcastle

He called for the team to be built around Bruno Fernandes, and said that other than the midfielder and their young stars, the club should get rid of the rest of the current team

He called for the team to be built around Bruno Fernandes, and said that other than the midfielder and their young stars, the club should get rid of the rest of the current team

Rooney was part of the last Man United squad to win the Champions League in 2008, and feels that it could be another 15 years before the Red Devils win Europe's biggest prize once again

Rooney was part of the last Man United squad to win the Champions League in 2008, and feels that it could be another 15 years before the Red Devils win Europe’s biggest prize once again 

When quizzed on his comment by a shocked Jones, Rooney clarified: ‘I think you keep the young players, and you keep Bruno.

‘I think it has to be a massive clear out. It has to be. It’s not going to be in one year, but I think it’s going to be in the next couple of years.’

Jones then asked Rooney whether he would keep the likes of Andre Onana, Diogo Dalot, and Harry Maguire.  

Rooney responded: ‘I think he (Onana) has had a shaky start but has got better and better over the year.

‘For me, Dalot’s done well, Maguire has had an in and out season.

‘To compete in this league they need better players. Don’t get me wrong these players are good players. But to compete with Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal, they need better players.’

Rooney was then asked to give his thoughts on former team-mate Marcus Rashford, who has a drastic drop in form this season, netting just eight times this term compared to 30 last year. 

He said: ‘We all know Marcus has the capabilities to play at the top level, and we haven’t seen it. 

Rooney questioned whether it is time for Marcus Rashford 'to go and play somewhere else'

Rooney questioned whether it is time for Marcus Rashford ‘to go and play somewhere else’

While he feels players like Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot are good, he feels they need 'better players' to go and challenge the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool going forward

While he feels players like Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot are good, he feels they need ‘better players’ to go and challenge the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool going forward

‘I just wonder is it time for Marcus to go and play somewhere else. I think he has to ask himself that question. I want him to stay and break records at this club. He needs to work hard and get his head down.’

Rooney was joined on punditry by former United team-mate Wayne Rooney and another club legend in Andy Cole.  

Cole, who was part of United’s 1998-99 Treble winning team, said it would be unlikely that United close the gap on Manchester City any time soon.

He said: ‘For me personally the gap won’t be closing in the next couple of years. If you look at the gap now between Manchester United and Man City, that tells you everything.

‘There’s no way you will close that gap within two years. Man City will look to kick on again next season.

‘That’s going to take time, that’s a building process, that could be four or five years.’

Wayne Rooney added: ‘Well you look at Man City when their new owners came in it took them 15 years to win the Champions League. That’s potentially what you might be looking at, you hope not.’

Raphael Varane has already announced that he will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season. 

Roy Keane (centre) said it could be difficult to move on players currently on big wages

Roy Keane (centre) said it could be difficult to move on players currently on big wages

Raphael Varane (second right) will leave the club this summer, while Anthony Martial (second left) is expected to follow him out of the exit at Old Trafford following a lengthy spell at the club

Raphael Varane (second right) will leave the club this summer, while Anthony Martial (second left) is expected to follow him out of the exit at Old Trafford following a lengthy spell at the club

Keane, though, said that moving other players on big wages could be difficult for the Red Devils.  

He said: ‘We talk about moving players on but it’s hard to move on without players. 

‘Some of the players here are on huge money and some of them won’t be going anywhere they wont be budging unless they get paid off. 

‘A lot of the players have been given an opportunity. There’s a lot of worry that these players are constantly injured but if you’re injured all the time you’re no good to anybody. 

‘Okay every club has it’s injuries. But if they’re always injured you cant rely on these players to turn up week in week out for Man United.’

The topic then went on to Anthony Martial, who has been out since December and looks set to follow international team-mate Varane out the exit door this summer.

Rooney said: ‘Martial, I played with him he’s a really nice guy. But where’s he been? What’s up with him? Is he injured?’

Keane responded: ‘At least his contract is up. That’s a plus you say off you go. But the reality is it’s going to be really tough.

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