Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


Wayne Rooney - Manchester United are better off without Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo

Wayne Rooney explained on Monday Night Football that Manchester United are better off without Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Former Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney joined Sky Sports on Monday Night Football.

Wayne Rooney is doing an outstanding job as Derby manager.

He's important for Ireland fans because he's watching over the development of Jason Knight. And until he moves to Italy, Festy Ebosele. Rooney is obviously more famous for his career as a player despite his success as a manager. His connections to Manchester United have not really factored into his post-playing career so far.

But his words will still ring true for all Manchester United fans. Rooney was asked about Manchester United's two biggest players: Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rooney likely has a limited relationship with Pogba. Their paths crossed during both of Pogba's stints at the club but first time around Pogba was a youth player and second time around Rooney was in his final season. The French World Cup winner is expected to move on this summer.

"I think it has probably got to a point now where it probably is better for him to move on," Rooney said.

"I think if Paul was honest with himself, he probably hasn't had the impact he would have liked [to have had] since he returned to Manchester United. And I watch him play for France. It's a completely different player. He has the ability, the vision, the control of the game. It's there every game for France.

"It just hasn't quite worked at Manchester United for him. There's a few players they need to let go."

While Rooney probably has a limited relationship with Pogba, he developed alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and built a memorable relationship with him. Rooney was in many ways the perfect foil for Ronaldo. While the Portuguese striker was a flair player who played direct football, Rooney tended to enjoy the more nuanced aspects of the sport.

Rooney's ability to drop deep and pick out a pass served him well with Ronaldo leading the line.

But despite their past success together, Rooney didn't hold back in his evaluation of the situation. Rooney doesn't believe that Manchester United should have re-signed Ronaldo. He thinks Ronaldo was too far past his prime to be a factor in the success of this particular squad.

"You'd have to say no at the minute. He scored goals. He scored important goals in the Champions League early on in the season and he scored the hattrick against Tottenham. But I think if you look onto the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift Manchester United up.

"Obviously Cristiano is getting on a bit. He certainly isn't the player he was in his 20s. That happens. That's football.

"He's a goal threat, but the rest of the game they need more hungry players."

"There's nothing wrong with celebrating." - David Connolly.


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Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United Paul Pogba Wayne Rooney