In a week where Wayne Rooney’s stock plummeted even further, the out-of-favour Manchester United and England captain received the backing of Ryan Giggs, who feels his former team-mate has been left confused by club manager Jose Mourinho.
After being dropped by United boss Mourinho prior to the international break, Rooney was then dumped for England’s scoreless World Cup qualifying draw in Slovenia on Tuesday amid his struggle for form and goals.
Rooney’s axing at club and international level comes as United and England both battle to find the 30-year-old’s best position, with Mourinho adamant the veteran forward will not be deployed in midfield, despite Louis van Gaal doing so at Old Trafford last season.
Giggs, who departed United after three seasons as an assistant manager having lost out to Mourinho to be Van Gaal’s replacement, has sympathy for England’s all-time leading goalscorer.
“I see a player who’s going through a transitional period, I went through it when I was 29 or 30, where I was a winger and I couldn’t knock it around a defender and get it the other side,” Giggs said on ITV.
“I feel a little bit sorry for him. Towards the end of last season and for England in the summer he was played in that deeper role, then he was told he’s playing as a number nine or a number 10. He’s probably a bit confused.
“The only way he can get it back is on the training pitch.
“I don’t see him playing in a specific position, he’s got the talent to play so many positions, and the experience.”
Rooney has only managed one goal in 13 appearances for United and England this term.