Wayne Rooney has admitted he’d love to captain Manchester United and England and has revealed he’s been helping United youngsters this season as they work on their game, with Adnan Januzaj being one of the players who have put in extra work with Rooney.
While he might be as far from the stereotype of ideal role model as his agent is from acting in a transparent manner, Rooney is the overwhelming favourite to replace Nemanja Vidic as club captain at the end of the season, once the Serbian defender leaves for Inter Milan, while captaining England remains firmly in Rooney’s sight.
Having been handed a new deal which will keep him to the club until 2018, Rooney could soon be handed the armband to further cement his senior role at Old Trafford, which would complete a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the 28-year-old striker, who looked on the verge of moving to Chelsea last summer.
“I’ve done it a few times and, if the manager wants me to be the captain, I would have no problem with that,” Rooney said in an interview with United’s in-club fanzine Inside United.
“I would take it with both hands. However, it is down to the manager, because it’s his decision on whoever he feels is the right person to lead the team. I’m sure he’ll make that decision when the time comes.
“I think, whether you’ve got the armband or not, I always feel I’m quite vocal on the pitch. I try to help the players when I feel I can and say what I think. I believe that’s the most important thing, to be honest and say what you feel. If you say what you believe are the right things, you need to keep doing that.”
Rooney, who also admitted captaining England “would be a great honour”, said he has already taken on a senior role with younger players in the squad and has helped Adnan Januzaj working on his game this season.
“I’ve stayed out after training with Adnan a few times,” explained Rooney, speaking of his alleged new-found maturity.
“Even just working on free-kicks and crossing. It actually benefits me as well and it benefits him.
“I am trying to help him get better and better, which I feel he is doing, and I think young players need to practise all the time, especially coming into the side. Senior players also need to keep practising to stay on top of their game so it works for both of us.”