Wayne Rooney: Manchester United Legend Backs Struggling Star

Rooney and Ibrahimovic
Wayne Rooney, left, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford, Manchester, September 29. Paul Scholes believes Rooney will return to United starting line-up. Laurence Griffiths/Getty

Manchester United great Paul Scholes has backed Wayne Rooney to return to Jose Mourinho's line-up and expects him to play a pivotal role.

Rooney returned to the United team on Thursday night, in a 1-0 win against Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League, having been dropped against Leicester City after a dip in form.

But Scholes, who played 499 times for United, believes a hiatus from the team may benefit the 30-year-old Rooney and insists he will return.

"He's been an unbelievable player for this club," Scholes said on BT Sport.

"There's no saying that if Wayne had played on Saturday [against Leicester City] it wouldn't have been 4-1. I just think he's not in the greatest of form at the minute.

"The timing is right for him not to be in the team. We know Wayne. We work with him, day in, day out. He's a fighter. He won't sit back and just let this happen.

Should Rooney not feature in all United's games this season, Scholes believes he will be vital when Mourinho's team takes on the elite teams in the Premier League.

"He'll be fighting to get back in this team," Scholes added.

"When the big games come round—Liverpool, Chelsea, [Manchester] City—I think we'll see Wayne back to his best."

Manchester United welcome Stoke City to Old Trafford on Saturday.