• Premier League

Owen: Rooney just needs to be loved again

ESPN staff
July 10, 2013

Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes Wayne Rooney needs to feel loved again to regain his form at Old Trafford.

The 27-year-old Rooney has strongly been rumoured to be leaving the Red Devils this summer after finding himself further down the pecking order after the arrival of Dutchman Robin van Persie.

But despite asking to leave the club at the end of last season, new United manager David Moyes has confirmed the England international's immediate future is with the Premier League champions.

And Owen, who played for United between 2009 and 2012, is confident that once Rooney's self-belief is restored, he will again become United's "main man".

"I don't think it's a case that it's his last chance for a big move, you don't get anywhere bigger than Manchester United," Owen told talkSPORT. "It's more a case of, is he wanted, is he loved, is he appreciated?

"He wants to be the top man, the main goalscorer, and I think that's what it all boils down to.

"I think one thing that may have knocked him off his stride a bit last season was Robin van Persie coming in and becoming the main man.

"If you're the striker in a team for so long you like having that pressure it puts you under, and when someone comes in and gets picked ahead of you on certain occasions, it knocks your confidence a bit and consequently he's not feeling on top of the world.

"He wants to be scoring goals on a regular basis for Manchester United. If that's going to happen then he'll be more than happy to stay.

"His ideal situation would just to be back in the United team, feeling at the top of his game again and staying put.

"Why would he want to move away from a club like Manchester United?

"But they've got a new manager now, so hopefully [David] Moyes and Rooney will be on the same page he'll be back and banging the goals in next year."

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