Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has expressed his admiration for Wayne Rooney and has stressed the attacker is important for the team regardless of whether he scores or not.
Rooney has been struggling to find his best form this campaign and has received his fair share of criticism in recent weeks following his profligacy in front of goal.
Nevertheless, the England international helped United to a vital 1-0 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday with a fine header and Herrera has nothing but praise for his team-mate.
“Of course there was relief, but Wayne is one of our most important players. He’s our leader, our captain, and we’re happy when he scores. When he doesn’t score, he fights for the team and that helps a lot as well,” Herrera told the official United website.
“He’s very important, and I think he has a very strong mind. When he doesn’t score, he keeps fighting in the same way, and that’s important for us.
“I always say the same: he’s one of the best players in the world, one of the stars, and he’s not selfish. For us, it’s very important when he feels good. When he scores, of course it’s better for everyone, but if not he still fights.
“I can only say what I see, and what I see is that he gives everything. We say the same thing every day: he does a lot of things for the club and the team. Of course he’s one of the best in the world, his trajectory is unbelievable.
“The way he fights, the way he trains and the way he gives his opinion to the other players. Maybe those on the outside only see what’s on the pitch, but he’s also very important off it.”
Rooney has scored seven goals in 17 appearances in all competitions for United this term.