Wayne Rooney has offered Mauricio Pochettino to become Manchester United’s next manager, believing his Premier League experience and bloody youth history puts him ahead of Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.
Derby manager Rooney believes the new manager needs to overhaul the team this summer, saying the departures of Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo should be part of the rebuild to come.
Exiting Europe last month means the club are suffering their worst trophy drought in 40 years, with United’s latest piece of silverware being the 2017 Europa League triumph under Jose Mourinho.
speaking on Monday night footballRooney has covered a series of issues engulfing his former club at a time when United are still struggling to qualify for next season’s Champions League…
“It’s been a weird season,” Rooney said. sky sports. “I’ve been on the pitch several times to watch them live and they look like a team of individuals. When they make a mistake, it always seems very difficult for them to recover as a team.
“I can look at it and say it hasn’t been good enough because we have this group of players that they need to do better. They are going through a tough time as a club, and I think what everyone wants is for them to sort out the manager’s situation as soon as possible, and they need to rebuild for the next two or three years to make sure they are challenged again.”
Rangnick suggested it could take 18 months or “two or three transfer windows” before United can challenge for the Premier League title again.
Rooney replied: “Absolutely. For Manchester United not to be a challenge, I think they would like the season to end now and forget about the Champions League. They will not participate in the competition as it is, even though they qualified for it.
“They have to rebuild the team and all around the first team and the club to make sure they put themselves in a position in two or three years where they can actually go and challenge the Premier League again.”
There has been a lot of speculation over who should take over at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag refused to rule out the possibility of joining United and added he hoped Ajax would understand if he decided to take the “next step” in his managerial career.
It has also been reported that United have sounded out Pochettino to become the club’s next boss.
Rooney believes Pochettino is better placed to take over as he compares the Paris Saint-Germain boss with Ten Hag.
“I think Pochettino did it in the Premier League,” Rooney said. “He knows the Premier League and at Tottenham he brought a lot of players through. He also did that at Southampton.
“If I choose one of the two, I will choose him. He should be given time to place his plan on the club and the team. If you give him time, I think he would do well.”
‘Now is the time for Pogba to move on’
Pogba’s contract expires at the end of the season and he looks set to lead a long list of departures at the club in the coming months.
Rooney stressed that he would not stand in the way of the Frenchman.
“I think it’s gotten to a point where it’s probably best for him to move on. If Paul is being honest with himself, he probably hasn’t had the impact he would have liked since his back to Manchester United,” he said.
“I’m watching him for France and he’s a completely different player. The ability, the vision and the control of the game are still there for France. It didn’t quite work out at United for him, and there has a few players they need to let go. .
“There hasn’t been an established manager there since Sir Alex Ferguson, so I think whoever comes in, they need to give them time to build relationships with the players.
“They were going through a period of transition [under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] and it didn’t work. Obviously it didn’t work out with Ole at the end or with the manager who arrived, so I think Pochettino is a top manager. He knows how to work with high level players but also with young players.
“They have to get this mix right because they can’t afford to fail again.”
‘Ronaldo is a goal threat but United need more’
Ronaldo was branded a ‘genius’ by Roy Keane after his spectacular hat-trick inspired Manchester United to a vital 3-2 win over front four rivals Tottenham – but the Portuguese missed last weekend’s draw with Leicester in due to illness.
Ronaldo is United’s top scorer this season with 18 goals in all competitions, but Rooney believes his return to Old Trafford has not been a success.
“You should say no, by the minute,” he said sky sports when asked if he felt the desired impact.
“He scored some important goals at the start of the Champions League season and he scored the hat-trick against Tottenham but I think if you look to the future of the club you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift United over the next two or three years.
“Cristiano gets along a bit and he’s definitely not the player he was when he was 20 and it happens. It’s a goal threat but I think for the rest of the game they need to more.”
With Pogba and Ronaldo already listed as players to move, Rooney was asked if there were any others who should now be considered surplus to squad needs.
“They have good young players and I think (Jadon) Sancho will be better next year. Marcus (Rashford) will be better next year and they have good young players.
“I think Jesse Lingard should play for them because he brings energy and quality. Scott McTominay has done well so they have good young players.
“They just have to give them confidence and make them believe that they are good players performing at a better level. I’m sure the new manager will bring in his own players to try and get them to rebuild.”
Harry Maguire struggled for form with his club which led to the United captain being mocked by England fans on international duty, but Rooney leapt to the centre-back’s defense under fire.
“I love Harry,” continued the Derby boss. “He hasn’t been in his best form this season like a lot of players. When he plays for England he looks like a world-class centre-back, so a lot of it is confidence to have the feeling of win again regularly.
“If United do that, I think Harry Maguire is a big part of it.”
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