Wayne Rooney believes some of Man United’s injured stars could be playing

    Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has sensationally claimed some of the club’s injured stars could be playing if they wanted.

    The Red Devils’ record goalscorer gave a damning assessment of his former side after they had ten key men sidelined for their 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.


    Rooney watched alongside Roy Keane in dismay at the defeat to ArsenalCredit: Getty

    Mason Mount became the latest United player to sustain an injury problem in midweek with Luke Shaw also suffering a setback.

    Captain Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, and Raphael Varane also all sat out the defeat at Old Trafford.

    In the dectuple’s absence, a misshapen United line-up faltered to a second defeat this week with Leandro Trossard’s strike being the only goal in a game which saw Arsenal barely break sweat.

    During his post-match analysis, former England captain Rooney said be believes some of the injured stars were fit enough to play.

    However, the 38-year-old claimed those players are holding themselves back to avoid being part of United’s current form.

    Asked whether players had stopped playing for Erik ten Hag, Rooney told Sky Sports: “If they are then they’re not showing it very well. There’s some very good players in that squad and their performances are way below par.

    “As we look at the injuries they’ve picked up, some of those players can play. 100 per cent!”

    He added: “It’s easy you’ve got European Championships coming up, you’ve got FA [Cup] final coming up – because they’re getting a little bit of stick now. It’s easy for players to stay out of it a little bit and then come back towards the final and get themselves ready for the European Championships.

    United have had to contend with injuries in defence and attack


    United have had to contend with injuries in defence and attack

    “I’ve seen it myself over the years so I just think the players who are being injured they’re not filling themselves with any credit at the minute and the manager’s going to take all the stick for that.”

    Man United Erik ten Hag will be sweating on the fitness of a number of his players with an FA Cup final date with Manchester City on the radar.

    But the Dutchman urged players including Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford that ideally they won’t be going into the Wembley clash cold, telling talkSPORT after the game: “If you want to go into a hard game like the cup final you need the game practice and they know that.”

    Rooney, who retired at the age of 35 in January 2021, had many injuries throughout his career.

    The former England international, who notably played through the pain barrier at the 2006 World Cup having sustained a Metatarsal fracture just over a month before the tournament started, admitted he’s yet to see the same desire from the current United crop.

    He continued: “You need to want to play. I played with injuries.

    “The manager needs to be ruthless and take that opportunity away from you. As long you haven’t got a bad injury you should want to play on that football pitch. For me, that doesn’t seem that’s the case.”

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