Whilst Wayne Rooney’s inclusion in the EFL Cup final versus Southampton this weekend may have been limited anyway, it now looks as though he is set to miss the match entirely.
According to The Times, a persistent muscle injury is set to keep the club captain sidelined for the final having already missed three clashes with the same complaint.
Speaking on Rooney’s condition, United boss Mourinho revealed that his skipper is a major doubt and that Phil Jones is also a worry ahead of Wednesday night’s clash with St-Etienne at the very least.
“Rooney is injured and Phil Jones is injured. I don’t think they will recover [to face Saint-Étienne].
“Rooney and Jones haven’t trained with the team yet so I don’t think they will be there.”
When pushed on any potential involvement on Sunday for England and United’s record goalscorer, Mourinho said:
“I don’t know.”
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic at present proving that age is but a number and others, such as Marcus Rashford, chipping in with goals, the impact of Rooney potentially missing out on the Wembley final should be minimal.
However, from a purely sentimental standpoint, this may mean we have already seen the 31-year-old line out for a club game at the famous ground for the last time.
With the Manchester giants into the last eight of the FA Cup, however, following their come-from-behind win over Blackburn, there may be one more chance for the United veteran to play under the Wembley Arch at club level.
With the future looking bright for the Red Devils at present though, one would expect Rooney’s involvement between now and May is not of the highest priority.
He has been a valuable player for the club but others look to be taking over the mantle now, not least Rashford, who is set up to be the club’s next superstar striker if he can continue his already phenomenal development under the Portuguese manager.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena