ROO-TURN NO YAYA
HE MAY HAVE LET HIM LEAVE UNITED, BUT FOR JOSE...
PREVIEW OF THIS WEEKEND’S BIG MATCHES
JOSE Mourinho has called Wayne Rooney a ‘real legend’ as the former United striker prepares to make his Old Trafford return tomorrow.
The Reds’ all-time record goalscorer called time on his 13-year United career this summer to re-join his boyhood club Everton.
Mourinho expects the Old Trafford faithful to give the 31-year-old a warm welcome ahead of the match against Ronald Koeman’s side, but hopes supporters put that good will on hold during the match.
“I think that he will get the welcome that he deserves,” the Portuguese said.
“I think sometimes in this country the word ‘legend’ comes too easily. That’s not his case, he’s a real legend of the club.
“The number of appearances, the number of goals, the number of trophies – I think clearly he’s one of the most important players in the history of Manchester United.
“And I think the stadium will show him that respect that he deserves, I hope before the match and after the match, not during the match.”
Romelu Lukaku made the opposite move to Rooney in the summer and the £75m hitman has netted six goals in as many games for his new side.
“Clearly he is a player who has adapted to the Premier League, with good friends already in this dressing room, with an easy integration in our group and the way the team is trying to play also has a good relation with his qualities as a player,” Mourinho added. “So I think he came in the right moment in his career.”
JOSE Mourinho has urged United supporters to give Wayne Rooney a warm welcome on the striker’s return to Old Trafford with Everton tomorrow.
The former Reds and England skipper is back at United for the first time since he returned to Goodison Park in the summer, and Mourinho says the striker deserves to be regarded as a club legend.
“I think that he will get the welcome he deserves,” Mourinho said.
“I think sometimes the word legend in this country comes too easy, that’s not his case, he’s a real legend, the number of goals, the number of trophies, he’s clearly one of the most important players in the history of Manchester United and I think the stadium will show him that respect he deserves.
“I hope before the match and after the match, not during the match.
“He’s a legend of this club, he deserves to be welcomed that way but during the match he’s an Everton player that wants to win the match.”
The United boss also revealed that Luke Shaw has recovered from injury and his return to the first-team could depend on form following his comeback for the reserves.
The left-back has started the last three matches for the second string against Leicester, Tottenham and Arsenal and could figure again in their trip to Chelsea on Monday night.
The 22-year-old has not played for the first-team since he injured his foot in the draw with Swansea on April 30 but made a successful comeback last month and is training with his senior team-mates.
However, Shaw was not included in the squad for Tuesday night’s Champions League visit of Basel.
“Luke Shaw is not injured anymore so it is a question of form,” Mourinho said.
“It’s a question of option but he is not injured, he’s recovered from his injury.”
Mourinho was also asked about Marcos Rojo’s recovery from rupturing his anterior cruciate ligaments five months ago. The Argentinian featured in United’s open training session ahead of the Basel tie and could return before the end of the year.
“Marcos Rojo is still in the timings after such an important injury,” Mourinho added.
“Everything went really well, but he is not even training with the group in a normal session, he’s just doing parts of it.
“So I think Marcos has in front of him probably a couple of months.”
Mourinho also said he expects United will be without Pogba for a ‘few matches’ after he suffered a hamstring injury.
Pogba came off after just 19 minutes in United’s Champions League group stage win over Basel on Tuesday night and left Old Trafford on crutches.
Mourinho refused to give a specific timeframe on how long Pogba would be sidelined for, but ruled him out of the majority of United’s remaining matches this month.
“I just know that it’s a muscular injury, he’s out for the weekend match, that’s the only match I’m thinking about,” he added.
Jose Mourinho says Wayne Rooney is a ‘real legend’ for United