Paul Ince urges Jose Mourinho to stick with Wayne Rooney as number 10

Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Stoke on February 2, 2016
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Paul Ince backs Wayne Rooney following criticism of the Manchester United captain's form.

Paul Ince has urged Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho not to drop Wayne Rooney as he believes that the club captain is the best number 10 at Old Trafford.

Rooney has attracted criticism in the early stages of the season following a handful of lacklustre performances on the pitch.

The 30-year-old has played in a deeper role on occasion, but last night started up front as he registered just one shot on target in a 3-1 victory over Northampton Town in the third round of the EFL Cup.

Despite Rooney's recent performances, Ince has given his backing to the player, claiming that the England international is an easy target.

"Everyone can jump the gun and say 'drop Rooney' because he's a standout high-profile player who isn't performing, but if you drop him who do you play instead?" Ince wrote in his Paddy Power blog.

"There's no-one at Manchester United who is better than him as a number 10. Rooney shouldn't be in midfield. End of.

"You're talking about England's greatest goalscorer, and you're wasting him in midfield. When he plays that position he comes too deep to get on the ball, and you really need him in the final third."

United will try to avoid three successive Premier League defeats when they take on the defending champions Leicester City at the weekend.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on August 19, 2016
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