Jose Mourinho to rest Wayne Rooney, other first-team stars, as Manchester United start Europa League campaign
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will be rested along with several other stars for the club's Europa League group match against Dutch side Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Thursday
Manchester: Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will be rested along with several other stars for the club's Europa League group match against Dutch side Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Thursday.
The 30-year-old England skipper has been omitted by Jose Mourinho from the squad along with fellow first team regulars, defensive duo Luke Shaw and Ecuadorean Antonio Valencia. Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's hopes of a chance to prove themselves, after being unceremoniously substituted at half-time of the Manchester derby last weekend, have been dashed, as they too remained behind.
Young talent Marcus Rashford could well get his first start of the campaign — having been restricted to cameo roles thus far — whilst others who have found it hard to get some action could also figure, like veteran Michael Carrick and Dutchman Memphis Depay.
"He (Rashford) is going to play is the only thing I can say. I trust him completely and I know his future will be absolutely brilliant," said the Portuguese, who was scathing of some of his players after the City defeat, particularly defender Eric Bailly.
United's other opponents in Group A — a draw Mourinho compared to a Champions League group — are Turkish side Fenerbahce featuring former Red Devils striker Robin van Persie and Ukrainian outfit Zorya Luhansk.
United's Spanish attacking midfielder Juan Mata warned that after the disappointment of derby day there was "no time for mourning".
"On Thursday we're going to play the first game in the Europa League, away against Feyenoord, a classic in European football," Mata said on his weekly blog.
"It's going to be a very demanding debut in this competition," he added of the road to the final in Stockholm next May.
Euro 2020: British police open investigation on racist abuse of three England players after team's loss in final
The racist abuse, which was condemned as “unforgiveable" by England coach Gareth Southgate, has led to calls for social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, to do more in hunting down the perpetrators of the abuse.
The mural, which occupies a brick wall not far from where Rashford grew up, has become a symbol of England's fight against the bigotry that has blighted the sport loved by people of all backgrounds.
The 33-year-old becomes new Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho's first signing in a deal that runs until June 2024 and is worth an initial 11.5 million euros ($13.5 million) plus bonuses, the club said.