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Manchester United: Jose Mourinho Makes Shock Omission for Europa League Tie

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho in Manchester, north west England, September 14. Mourinho's team faces Feyenoord in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has left club captain Wayne Rooney out of the squad to face Feyenoord in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening.

Mourinho says Rooney has played in every one of United’s competitive fixtures so far this season, as well as a full fixture with England against Slovakia in Trnava.

"He has played every game since the start of the season and he played 90 minutes with England,” he said. “I want him to be fresh for the next games. He plays in an attacking position, where I have lots of options.

"He took it professionally, like the other players."

Rooney’s role has come under renewed scrutiny in the aftermath of the Manchester derby last Saturday, when United lost 2-1 to Manchester City.

Paul Pogba, United’s £89 million ($117.9 million) summer signing, plays better football higher up the pitch, but moving Pogba might reduce or even wipe out Rooney’s function in the United team.

Mourinho will rest his first-choice full backs Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw, with Marcos Rojo coming in to take Shaw’s place.

Teenage sensation Marcus Rashford is expected to start as striker after impressing against Pep Guardiola’s team in the derby.

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