Manchester United’s Manager, Jose Mourinho has dropped Wayne Rooney from the 20-man squad for Thursday’s Europa League tie in Rotterdam against Dutch side Feyenoord. Despite training on Wednesday, the 30-year-old captain will miss the club’s European opener, as will Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard.
Manager Jose Mourinho said Rooney had been rested in advance of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Watford.
Phil Jones is also absent after suffering lateral knee ligament damage. The injury could sideline the defender for up to a month.
Mourinho wants a ‘fresh’ Rooney
“Wayne has played every game since the start of the season,” said Mourinho of his decision to leave his captain in Manchester for the Group A opener.
“He has also played 90 minutes for England and he played 90 minutes last weekend and I want him to be fresh for the next match. In the position he plays, I have lots of solutions.”
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager admitted the Europa League was not a competition the club wanted to be in, but said it was one they would aim to win.
“It’s not the big dream of every big player, but we are not in the Champions League,” added the Portuguese.
“We have to look at it with respect. I think we want to do well in the competition and for a club of our dimension to do well is not to be out in the group phase.”
Marcos Rojo will start in defence in place of England international Shaw, while Mourinho had previously stated that striker Marcus Rashford would make his first start of the season on Thursday.