Man Utd news: Wayne Rooney names player in FA Cup squad who shouldn’t play for club | Soccer | sport

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney believes his former teammate Jonny Evans should no longer play for the club. The Northern Ireland international has featured prominently this season due to Erik ten Hag’s defensive injury crisis.

Evans came through United’s academy and spent nine years in the same dressing room as Rooney. The defender’s eight-year absence from Old Trafford ended last summer when, after leaving Leicester City, he was allowed to train with the Red Devils to keep sharp.

Ten Hag was so impressed with what he saw that Evans was offered a short-term contract. Aged 36 midway through the campaign, the Belfast-born veteran has featured in 23 of United’s 38 Premier League games.

United and their injured side ultimately fell to an eighth-place finish – their worst result in more than 30 years. And Rooney believes that for the club to move forward, players of Evans’ current caliber should not feature in the starting XI.

On a pundit assignment for the BBC ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final between United and Manchester City, Micah Richards asked Rooney which of the current Red Devils could be considered a ‘leader’.

“I only know two or three (personally),” he said. “Obviously Jonny Evans has come back. Jonny is a leader, but realistically Jonny shouldn’t be playing for Manchester United now, at this stage of his career.

“For me, I find it hard to see a leader. When you see certain players struggling like they did, (managers) will protect those players. A lot of Manchester United players at the moment are exposed.”

Evans’ short-term contract is due to expire next month, meaning the curtain may already have closed on his second spell at Old Trafford, as Ten Hag have chosen Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane as centre-backs to face City.

Whether Evans will stay at United may not be in Ten Hag’s hands at all, amid rumors that senior figures at the club have already decided to part ways with the manager regardless of the situation of the team at Wembley.

Ten Hag openly admitted during an interview with Voetbal International that a new central defender would be sought this summer if he remains in his position at Old Trafford.

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