Wayne Rooney has emerged as a major doubt for Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool on Saturday, with Belgian midfielder (not striker) Marouane Fellaini set to deputise for the injury absentee.
Fresh off the back of his record goalscoring exploits for England, Rooney was conspicuous by his absence as United’s players met up at their hotel base on Friday night.
The 29-year-old is believed to have picked up a hamstring injury and will face a late fitness test on Saturday ahead of the game. With Anthony Martial yet to make his first appearance in a United shirt and James Wilson likely to be farmed out to the Championship, that leaves Fellaini – remarkably – as Rooney’s replacement.
Ander Herrera is tipped to reprise his role behind the striker at Old Trafford, with both United and Liverpool looking to recover from demoralising defeats just before the international break.
It’s difficult to envisage a scenario whereby a lump of a midfield destroyer is seen as first-choice back-up to a deteriorating 29-year-old striker at a Champions League club, but it certainly seems the case at Old Trafford.