It is a cruel blow for his publishers that Wayne Rooney’s new book is coming out while he is sidelined by injury and Manchester United’s summer signing Robin van Persie. But do not make the mistake of writing off Wazza.

In all honesty being dropped to the bench against Fulham last weekend was probably the wake-up call Rooney needed after some mediocre appearances both for England and Manchester United of late.

Complacency has always been a recipe for disaster in football and Sir Alex Ferguson is the master at keeping his players hungry and motivated in his relentless quest for honours.

Few managers have the confidence to leave out a star like Rooney. But that is exactly what was required because United’s talisman for the past decade has not been hitting the heights we all know he can.

What no one could have predicted was the freak injury inflicted by the collision with Hugo Rodallega that left Rooney with a horrendous gash needing surgery to stitch his leg back together. Assuming no lasting damage is done, however, I expect the battle to regain fitness and re-claim his place in the side could be just the challenge Rooney needs to get back to his best.

Questions have been asked about whether or not Rooney can fit into the same team as RVP and new playmaker Shinji Kagawa. But I have no doubts on that front and predict this trio will be terrorising the Premier League long before the end of the season.


Rooney’s decade in Premier League began with stunning debut against Arsenal at the age of 16 . . .