Souness lays into Rooney over his ‘worst season ever’

Date published: Tuesday 4th April 2017 11:35

Graeme Souness has branded this “the worst season of professional football” in Wayne Rooney’s career.

Rooney has been reduced to a peripheral figure in the Manchester United squad this season under Jose Mourinho.

The England international has retained the club captaincy but has been phased out of the starting line-up, with injuries also attributing to his lack of game time.

The 31-year-old has played in 19 of United’s 28 Premier League games, but only nine of those have been starts.

Liverpool legend Souness has also blasted his transition from striker to midfielder, and expects him to leave Old Trafford this summer.

“I thought that would have been seamless and he would have got that overnight,” Souness told Sky Sports. “But he has not grasped that. An occasional ping of a ball from right to left wing does not make a good central midfielder. There is a lot more to it than that.

“He is 31, I had my best football years at 31. So I am mystified with it. He is not understanding that position. It is not an occasional Hollywood ball, there is far more to it than that. It is about filling areas, it is about standing still rather than moving a lot of the time.

“This will have been his worst season of professional football, he has just not played enough games. From being the captain and the first name on the team sheet to this, that will be hurtful to him.

“I think he will move on, I don’t see him accepting that. His next move, he is a big enough player to say ‘I need to be guaranteed I am playing every week’.

“No big club will accept that demand. So it is more likely he will go abroad. He has achieved everything in this country, so a new challenge, a new experience for his family, another culture. I did it at 31, I went to Serie A and it certainly didn’t do me any harm. That is what I would do and that is what I did.”

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