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Man Utd thrash Leicester City

If Manchester United’s performance in a 4-1 rout of English champions Leicester City on Saturday is anything to go by, Wayne Rooney may struggle to get back into the starting eleven.

Dropped by manager Jose Mourinho to the substitutes’ bench after a series of poor performances, Rooney made a cameo appearance after he replaced Marcus Rashford in the 83rd minute.

Although the club captain struck a positive note as he waved and applauded the fans as he headed down the tunnel, his role as the team’s driving force is under serious threat after United thrived with Juan Mata filling his position superbly.

Britain Football Soccer - Manchester United v Leicester City - Premier League - Old Trafford - 24/9/16 Manchester United's Marcus Rashford scores their third goal Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford scores their third goal (Reuters/Carl Recine)

With Ander Herrera also preferred to Marouane Fellaini in the centre of midfield alongside Paul Pogba, Mourinho’s side looked more like the vintage United who regularly trampled their opponents at Old Trafford under manager Alex Ferguson.

Superb link-up play as well as rapid and unpredictable ball movement, rarely seen since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, brought the winners of a record 20 league titles an almost surreal 4-0 halftime lead given their recent struggles.

Never quite as gifted as his former team mate Cristiano Ronaldo or United’s latest five-star acquisition Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rooney once dictated games largely thanks to his tremendous work rate and aggression.

Britain Football Soccer - Manchester United v Leicester City - Premier League - Old Trafford - 24/9/16 Manchester United's Wayne Rooney comes on as a substitute as Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho looks on Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Wayne Rooney comes on as a substitute as Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho looks on. (PHOTO: Reuters/Carl Recine)

But with his pace diminished, Rooney seems to have reached an impasse, being neither an out-and-out striker nor a midfielder.

Attempts to use him as a forward playing behind a target man have also been ineffective as his ability to turn quickly and run behind defenders has decreased.

Mourinho is notorious for his ruthlessness towards big names when they stop delivering and with the pressure on the Portuguese to bring major trophies back to Old Trafford, he is likely to stick to whatever works on the pitch.

The free-flowing football which blew Leicester away will give him plenty of food for thought.

Source: REUTERS

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