Captain Wayne Rooney will not play for Manchester United in their UEFA Europa League game at Feyenoord on Thursday.
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Rooney, 30, has not been included in Jose Mourinho’s 20-man squad for the trip to Holland as United open up their Group A campaign in Europe’s second-tier club competition.
So far there has been no reason given for Rooney’s absence, although it would appear Mourinho is resting Rooney.
Still, with plenty of criticism coming the way of England’s all-time leading goalscorer and the man who is second all-time in goals for United, it is unlikely Rooney will want more scrutiny coming his way but a rest will likely do him good.
Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard are also not included in the list despite being part of the 23-man squad which trained on Wednesday, plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Phil Jones are also not involved after missing training through injury. It is also intriguing that Mourinho has decided to take 34-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic with him to Holland.
Mourinho has said in the past that he will use the Europa League to give his fringe players some valuable minutes and he has already confirmed young striker Marcus Rashford will start.
Expect the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Timothy Fosu-Mensah to play on Thursday as United’s main aim this season is to get back among the to four in the Premier League.
That notion is clear by the 20-man squad Mourinho has named for the trip to Rotterdam.
United’s full squad for Europa League clash at Feyenoord: De Gea, Romero, Johnstone; Darmian, Bailly, Blind, Fosu-Mensah, Rojo, Smalling; Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera, Mata, Memphis, Pogba, Schneiderlin, Young; Ibrahimovic, Martial, Rashford.