Manchester United: Wayne Rooney Blasted as 'Overweight' by Club Legend

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney.
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, August 14. Rooney has been strongly criticized by former United star Paul Parker. Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty

Wayne Rooney is "overweight and slow" and faces a defining season in his Manchester United career, according to a club legend.

Paul Parker's diatribe against the striker suggested that Rooney, the United captain, was no longer worthy of a place in Jose Mourinho's new-look team.

"This is a defining season for Rooney," Parker, who played for United from 1991 to 1996, said. "It's no longer about him breaking records but finishing his career at Manchester United. He needs to show his worth and that he deserves to be in the team and not just because of marketing.

"As much as people appreciate what he's done over the years and how many goals he's scored, football is about now and being judged on now.

"If someone had only heard of Wayne Rooney but saw him now they'd think 'Who is this fella? He's overweight and slow.' It looks like he can't move or shift his body quick enough."

Rooney scored against Bournemouth on Sunday in United's opening English Premier League game of the season, but that will not have been enough to assuage the doubts of those who question whether the 30-year-old England captain has enough left to command a place in United's starting line-up.