Manchester United defender Phil Jones has defended Wayne Rooney as the England captain continues to struggle for form this season.
Jones was speaking at a press conference whilst on international duty with England, as reported by Sky Sports, and insisted that Rooney’s influence goes beyond the number of goals he scores and helps produce.
The 30-year-old has found the net on just four occasions so far this season while assisting just once, and the statistics undoubtedly speak for themselves.
However, it is evident that Rooney has struggled to lead the line for United as the lone striker, despite Louis van Gaal continuing to deploy him in that role.
The former Everton starlet has lost a yard of pace, as has been witnessed on countless occasions this year, and a lack of runners from midfield in behind him has made it impossible for him to break teams down.
Rooney has been forced to drop deeper in order to collect the ball and make things happen, but Jones feels that he is still a crucial player to the squad and is adamant that even when he isn’t scoring, he makes a huge difference for the team.
Van Gaal’s men moved to within two points of joint Premier League leaders Manchester City and Arsenal last weekend, and they will prepare to face Watford at Vicarage Road on November 21 after the international break concludes.
While they have seemingly put their goalscoring issues behind them after going through a stage of three consecutive goalless draws last month, it remains to be seen whether or not the Red Devils are capable of sustaining their threat in the final third or whether Rooney continues to struggle as part of the bigger issue.