ROTTERDAM, Sporting Alert – Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he will make changes to his Manchester United team for the UEFA Europa League match with Feyenoord on Thursday night.
Captain Wayne Rooney, full-backs Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia, as well as midfielders Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who were all involved in the defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League derby over the weekend, were left out of the Manchester United squad that travelled to Rotterdam.
It was suggested that Rooney should be dropped or even taken off every now and then when he is not effective and the England skipper, who trained with the full squad at the Aon Training Complex on Wednesday, has been given a rest by Mourinho.
Lingard and Mkhitaryan who were both taken off at halftime during the defeat in the Manchester derby at the weekend, were left at home to continue working on fitness, while Shaw needs treatment and Valencia is due for some rest.
The manager talked about why he made changes and how the likes of Rooney took it.
“Wayne has played every game since the start of the season,” Mourinho said. “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.”
“In the positions where I have other solutions, it means I can have fresh players for this game and then fresh players for the game on Sunday,” Mourinho said.
“I’ll try to have a strong team here and a strong team for Sunday. He [Wayne Rooney] took it professionally, like the other players.”
Centre-back Phil Jones is also missing from the 20-man travelling party, as he’s injured.
After putting in another impressive shift, talented striker Marcus Rashford is set to make a first start of the season, with the likes of Matteo Darmian, Michael Carrick and Memphis Depay all included in the squad.
Also in the are Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Marcos Rojo, Anthony Martial, Ashley Young and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Manchester United Squad: De Gea, Romero, Johnstone; Darmian, Bailly, Blind, Fosu-Mensah, Rojo, Smalling; Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera, Mata, Memphis, Pogba, Schneiderlin, Young; Ibrahimovic, Martial, Rashford.