Ander Herrera insists Wayne Rooney remains crucial to Manchester United, despite the rise of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford this season.
The emergence of the young duo has seen Rooney pushed back into midfield more regularly since his return to injury.
Martial was injured for the game against Norwich, but Rooney remained in a midfield role, where he was able to lay off the assist for Juan Mata’s winning goal in a crucial 1-0 triumph.
Herrera says Rooney’s all-round playmaking ability means he can fit in anywhere in the team, and he continues to be crucial for the club’s future aspirations.
“I know Marcus and Anthony are quicker, but we know Wayne’s qualities,” Herrera said.
“He can assist, he can hold the ball very well and he can play as one midfielder more when we have the ball. That’s important when you are a team that likes to be the protagonist in the game.”
Spainiard Herrera said Rooney’s leadership as captain only increased his importance to the side.
“Wayne is a world-class player,” Herrera said.
“He’s a very good captain and he’s not selfish, so you always have to have Wayne in the team and in the dressing room.
“Some of the big players are so selfish sometimes but Wayne isn’t and that’s so important.”