The 20 time English champions have been handed a huge blow ahead of their Europa League clash against FC Midtjylland. News coming from Manchester is that captain Wayne has not travelled to Denmark for the clash and Will Keane is in the squad in his place. Speculation regarding his fitness was bound to come up – a possible knee ligament injury for Rooney during training that could rule him out for at least 6 weeks if not more.
Surprisingly, he played the entire 90 minutes during the 2-1 loss to Sunderland, without any hiccups. A good start to 2016 for Wazza which saw him score 7 goals in 9 games, which is 1 goal more than his entire goal tally of 2015.
A knee injury puts him out of action for about a month and a half, Manchester United not only lose the services of a player in form but also a fearless leader. Now, with Rooney gone it will be Chris Smalling who will captain the side and finally the fans will see Martial at his preferred position. Already 10 goals in his first season, Martial dubbed as the next Henry has become a fan favourite within his first year at the club. Manchester United must take inspiration from Barcelona who coped very well when Leo Messi was out for over 2 months last year.
Presuming Martial plays upfront, a possible line up for United may be Depay and Lingard on the wings and Mata in his preferred ‘number10’ role. Manchester United, already 6 points off rivals City who also have a game in hand are aiming for that 4th spot in the league. Champions League is something which is an absolute necessity for a club of United’s stature. Failure to win a single trophy this season and not getting that 4th spot could mean the end of the road for Van Gaal, although the sacking already looks imminent.
Some important fixtures coming up for United, the second leg of the Europa League against FC Midtjylland at home on 25th Feb and 3 days later hosting Arsenal again at home. Will Manchester United bounce back stronger and prove the doubters wrong? Only time will tell.