Rooney urges Man Utd flop to leave after Erik ten Hag decision shows he ‘doesn’t believe in him’

Jason Soutar
Wayne Rooney during a press conference.
Wayne Rooney has left DC United to become the new Birmingham manager.

Wayne Rooney believes Erik ten Hag’s decision to strip Harry Maguire of the Manchester United captaincy shows he “doesn’t believe in him”.

Maguire’s future at Old Trafford is up in the air after falling down the pecking order under Ten Hag.

The Dutch manager made Lisandro Martinez one of his first signings as Red Devils boss, putting the Argentine in the heart of his defence alongside Raphael Varane.

When either of his first-choice central defenders could not play, Ten Hag would turn to Victor Lindelof or Luke Shaw ahead of Maguire.

Despite Ten Hag’s blatant lack of faith in him, Maguire seems reluctant to leave the club amidst reported interest from Tottenham, West Ham and Chelsea.

A move elsewhere seems to be the best solution for everyone involved and Ten Hag’s decision to take the captaincy from Maguire is the biggest hint yet that the player is not in the Dutchman’s plans.

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And former United skipper Rooney thinks “the best thing” for Maguire is to leave Old Trafford.

The current D.C. United manager told The Athletic: “To have the armband taken off you, how does he move forward with the club? That shows the manager really doesn’t believe in him.

“It leaves Harry in a position where he has to think on what he does moving forward.

“The manager has shown he is not part of the plans,” Rooney continued.

“I’m sure Harry will want to go and play — for himself, for his England career — to put himself in the best position to be as successful as he can.

“The best thing now is probably for him to move.”

Maguire is not the only Red Devils player Rooney thinks needs to get game time under his belt. He also discussed Mason Greenwood, who has not kicked a ball for United since January 2022.

Greenwood was facing charges relating to attempted rape and assault but it was announced in February that the case against has been discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

United are internally investigating the situation with the player’s future unresolved.

The 21-year-old has not kicked a ball for the Premier League club since January 2022 and has been linked with a move to Italian outfit Atalanta.

Rooney says Greenwood should leave in order to continue his ‘development’.

“It leaves Mason Greenwood in a position where he is stuck,” Rooney said. “So for Mason, it’s a bad position to be in because I’m sure he just wants to play football.

“But for the club, its image and ensuring they make the right decisions, it’s almost a catch 22.

“I think the best thing for Mason now is to get out of the club and go and develop somewhere else.

“He needs to get back playing because it has been a long time.

“With everything that has happened and how long the internal investigation has taken, it’s probably got to a place now where Mason just needs to go and play and to try and get his career back on track.

“It’s a difficult position for Mason but for the club as well. You have to make sure you get to the right decision before moving forward and it looks like they’re really struggling to get to that place.”

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