Wayne Rooney will not feature in Manchester United’s Europa League tie against Feyenoord tomorrow after being left out of the travelling squad.
The United captain is not believed to be injured, and the reasoning behind José Mourinho’s decision not to include him appears to be that the 30-year-old is merely being rested.
Rooney has started every competitive game since Mourinho took the reigns at Old Trafford, and completed a full 90 minutes in the Manchester derby at the weekend, with the intense encounter ending in a 2-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City.
In the second half of that game, Mourinho elected to switch to a 4-3-3 formation, instead of the 4-2-3-1 that had been utilised by the Red Devils in all of their previous games this season.
Rooney has been playing in the "No.10" role within United’s 4-2-3-1 set-up this season, so it will be interesting to see whether Mourinho decides to revisit the 4-3-3 shape that worked well against City with the England skipper absent tomorrow night.
Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard have also been left out of the squad for the trip to Rotterdam.
Lingard’s omission could be seen as a result of his poor performance in Saturday’s derby — in which he was substituted at half-time — while Shaw is being rested after an impressive start to the new season, having recovered from a broken leg which ruled him out for most of the last campaign.
Valencia, like Shaw and Rooney, has been an ever-present for United so far this season, and, having travelled back from international duty in South America at the end of last week to play 90 minutes on Saturday, he will welcome being given the night off.
With these first-team regulars left out, and with Henrikh Mkhitaryan ruled out by injury, the likes of Marcus Rashford, Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo will be in contention to start tomorrow night.