Ahead of Manchester United’s game against Crystal Palace, Rio Ferdinand has defended his former team mate, Wayne Rooney, arguing that the captain shouldn’t be left out of the starting XI despite his poor form.

“I wouldn’t drop Wayne Rooney,” Rio replied. “He’s your talisman, he’s your captain, he’s the person that if a chance dropped to anyone in that team, you’d want it to drop to Wayne Rooney. He’s proved over the years that he can score goals. He hasn’t been playing well, particularly in the last few weeks, but I think if they’re going to start trying to get back up the table and really fight for this league, they need a good, confident, in form Wayne Rooney.