Michael Owen feels Wayne Rooney is suffering from a crisis of confidence at Manchester United.
With Robin van Persie stealing the limelight away from Rooney last season, Owen – a former United and England team-mate of the striker – feels the 27-year-old’s confidence would have taken a hit from Van Persie’s immediate success at Old Trafford, prompting him to consider a move elsewhere.
“I think one thing that may have knocked him off his stride a bit last season was Robin van Persie coming in and becoming the main man,” Owen told talkSPORT.
“If you’re the striker in a team for so long you like having that pressure it puts you under, and when someone comes in and gets picked ahead of you on certain occasions, it knocks your confidence a bit and consequently he’s not feeling on top of the world.
“He wants to be scoring goals on a regular basis for Manchester United. If that’s going to happen then he’ll be more than happy to stay.”
And Owen was unequivocal about where Rooney should play next season.
“His ideal situation would just to be back in the United team, feeling at the top of his game again and staying put,” he said.
“Why would he want to move away from a club like Manchester United?
“They’ve got a new manager now, so hopefully (David) Moyes and Rooney will be on the same page he’ll be back and banging the goals in next year.”
“I don’t think it’s a case that it’s his last chance for a big move, you don’t get anywhere bigger than Manchester United.
“It’s more a case of, is he wanted, is he loved, is he appreciated? He wants to be the top man, the main goalscorer, and I think that’s what it all boils down to.”