London (AFP) – England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney can still play a useful role for both his country and club Manchester United, his former team-mate Paul Scholes told the BBC on Sunday.
Rooney, who has scored 53 goals in his 119 international appearances, is not definitively out of the England picture, according to coach Gareth Southgate, although lack of first team football at United is not helping his case for inclusion.
Rooney, who is also his club’s record goalscorer having passed icon Bobby Charlton’s mark earlier this season, has been linked with a move in the close season after 13 years with United.
The 31-year-old has been linked with a lucrative transfer to the China Super League whilst his former club Everton have expressed an interest.
However, Scholes — capped 66 times — says it would be a loss for both England and United if his former team-mate at United and in the national side was dispensed with.
“Wayne has been a sensational footballer for England and Manchester United for nearly 15 years. He is greatly respected and I still think he has a part to play with United and England,” the 42-year-old told the BBC.
“He has great experience, he can pass knowledge on to young players and it’s up to Gareth if and when he wants to use it.
“I don’t want to talk about him going to another English club, I hope he gets himself back into the United team. He has a fight on his hands but the Wayne Rooney I know is someone who will face that challenge and try to do it.
“He still has a prominent role to play for England and United. There’s been a lot of speculation over where he goes now but Wayne, with what he’s done, has earned the right to do what he wants to do. I hope he does stay and fight.”
A leg injury ruled Rooney out of both the 1-0 friendly loss to Germany last Wednesday and Sunday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.
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