Wayne Rooney came back from the pre-season looking unfit and out of shape. After the defeat to Everton, he was dropped for the second game of the season against Fulham for Robin van Persie who scored. Rooney came off the bench and suffered a nasty injury which has kept him out since.

Rooney made his return midweek against Newcastle and looked much sharper than he had at the start of the season.

“It does feel like the start of my season,” he said. “It was a freak injury and whilst it wasn’t too bad, I had to be careful when I came back training and in games because it could open up again. There is only so much you can do in the gym. You need that training and game time to get you to your full sharpness. I am glad to be over it and back playing.”

Rooney is competing with Van Persie, Welbeck, Chicharito and Kagawa for his place in the team this season but he welcomes the challenge.

“There is a lot of competition up front, but that is great for the squad,” he added. “The manager will rotate when he feels it is necessary. There are a lot of games throughout the season. It means we can get a rest here and there to make sure we are ready for the big games towards the end.”