Rooney must earn Man Utd place, says Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has told Wayne Rooney that he cannot be considered an automatic choice in the Manchester United side anymore, the Daily Mirror has reported. The manager has Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck to call on as well as the England international, with Ferguson admitting he could plump for a partnership not involving Rooney.

Rooney returned from injury against Newcastle United in the midweek League Cup victory, having missed the last few weeks of football because of the cut thigh suffered in an incident with Fulham forward Hugo Rodallega. And while the Mirror claims Rooney looked fit and match-sharp in his 75-minute contribution, Ferguson declined to promise Rooney – or any of United’s strikers – a place in the first team.

Ferguson added that the summer capture of van Persie from Arsenal would, he hoped, encourage the strikers already at the club to step up their game. He said: “It should give everyone a push Chicharito has done nothing wrong, while Welbeck is promising and has shown that with England. He’s in the same position as Chicharito in that they’re not the first-team choices at the moment. That doesn’t mean to say it will stay that way, because competition is always healthy.

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