Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney divides opinion... Sportsmail experts debate whether it is time Jose Mourinho dropped the England star
- Wayne Rooney has one goal in seven games in all competitions this season
- The England captain played up front against Northampton on Wednesday
- The 30-year-old again came in for criticism for an under-par performance
- ANALYSIS: Carrick can be the key to Mourinho solving the Pogba problem
It is the first big question facing Jose Mourinho during his Manchester United reign - stick or twist with Wayne Rooney?
The 30-year-old captain again came in for criticism for an under-par performance in United’s 3-1 victory at Northampton in the League Cup.
Mourinho shifted Rooney - who has spent most of the season in midfield - back up front for the match but he failed to deliver goals.
As United prepare to face Premier League champions Leicester on Saturday lunchtime, our reporters give their verdict on whether it is time to drop Rooney.
Wayne Rooney continues to struggle for form at Manchester United this season
The 30-year-old returned up front for the trip to Northampton but didn't deliver goals
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has publicly backed his captain
The United skipper arrives for training on Thursday after the EFL Cup victory at Northampton
No. I can’t help but think that - despite the current crisis mode - United played quite well in the second half against Manchester City.
As such, I would persist with Rooney wide right, in a trio of Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini as your attacking midfielders and Ander Herrera holding.
Given that Martial is hardly sparkling, I’d look at using Ashley Young or Juan Mata from the bench
Yes. Wayne Rooney should be finished as a mainline Manchester United player - Sir Alex Ferguson identified that in 2013.
He is still good enough to be part of the squad and make a contribution - his run won United the FA Cup in May - but whether his ego allows that is another matter.
Ryan Giggs was able to do that at United, Steven Gerrard left Liverpool rather than be a bit-part player.
Rooney lets fire with a shot during the Cup victory against League One Northampton
Yes. That is not to denigrate the legacy of one of the best English players of several eras, but a simple recognition of the blatantly obvious - he is not what he used to be, to the point he weakens the team when he is in it.
Perhaps there will be one last surge in his great career, but there is no sign of it coming any time soon.
At the very least, it might do him some good to get out of the firing line for a while. Maybe then he will return with some confidence and make us all look stupid.
In the meantime, Mourinho needs to make what seems to be an easy decision.
Rooney endured a largely frustrating evening playing a forward role for Mourinho's men
Rooney's heat map from Wednesday night shows his desire to help out the midfield and attack
Yes. I always suspected he would play his way out of the team this season and the time has come for Mourinho to justifiably drop him.
Rooney’s presence is undermining the progress of club and country and both will be better off without him.
He is smothering younger players who, given more freedom, will prosper minus Rooney.
The England captain has only scored one goal for his club side so far this season
Yes. United have enough options in that position to leave Rooney out of the team. He is no longer indispensable to United and he should not be treated as such.
His form simply does not justify selection. Mata as a No 10 or Pogba (in a midfield three) deserve a run in the team.
ROONEY'S MANCHESTER UNITED SEASON SO FAR
Yes. I cannot help feeling that Wayne Rooney has become a square peg in a round hole, and his performance at Northampton was painful.
Marcus Rashford comes on as a substitute at 1-1, gets a goal and an assist. For me, I’d rather have him in my team than Rooney at the moment.
Yes. It's time for Rooney to be taken out of the firing line. He struggled through the middle at Northampton Town on Wednesday night, dropping deeper and deeper to get through some 'nice' work without impacting much in an attacking sense.
Mourinho wants goals and isn't getting them at the moment