Manchester United centre back Chris Smalling has defended club legend Wayne Rooney and believes it is only a matter of time until he is back to his best.
Smalling was handed the captaincy for his side’s clash against Leicester City on Saturday as Rooney’s exclusion from the starting XI coincided with a thumping 4-1 victory over the Foxes.
Rooney’s form had come under question for United in recent weeks as the side had slumped to three consecutive defeats while fielding the 30-year-old. Nevertheless, Smalling insists the player is key for the side. He was the same, as in before the game when we’re all getting ready. He is often one of the most vocal and he was the same on Saturday.
‘He was the same, as in before the game when we’re all getting ready. He is often one of the most vocal and he was the same on Saturday,’ the defender told Sky Sports.
‘Regardless of whatever the situation is, whatever game, whether he is on the bench or playing or whatever, he is always that same type of character and that’s why he is England’s main man and our main man,’ he added.
Smalling was quick to point out that Rooney’s experience counted for a lot at the club and that he was confident the veteran would soon be back to his best.
‘I think he’s a very experienced guy and he’s played that many games that I think it’ll only be a matter of time before he’s back in there and firing again because he’s quality,’ Smalling concluded.
Man United are next in action when they face Zorya in the Europa League on Thursday.
The match will get underway from 21:05.