George Graham: 'Wayne Rooney has a fitness issue'

Wayne Rooney moments after missing a penalty during the FA Cup third round replay against West Ham on January 16, 2013
© PA Photos
Former Arsenal manager George Graham feels that Wayne Rooney has a fitness issue and is liable to put on weight.

Former Arsenal manager George Graham has said that he thinks Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has a fitness problem.

Rooney's future at Old Trafford was widely speculated to be coming to an end this season, but Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson insisted that the 27-year-old would be staying.

Graham feels that the unrest surrounding Rooney could have something to do with his fitness.

The Scot told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "I think with the build Rooney has got he is always liable to put on weight.

"He has got to play regularly, he has got to play every week. He cannot afford to have any bad injuries when he has been out for a long time. I think he has got a problem with his fitness."

Graham also felt that the England striker has to remain "disciplined" away from the field as well as on it.

He added: "For his career, for the next four years he is going to be at his peak, he has got to be very disciplined not only on the pitch in his performances but he has got to be disciplined off the pitch."

Rooney was dropped for Tuesday's Champions League exit to Real Madrid and will hope to be in the starting lineup when United host Chelsea in the last FA Cup quarter-final this afternoon.

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