The Red Devils have endured a difficult transfer window, bringing in just one new signing in the form of Ajax’s Donny van de Beek as well as missing out on Jadon Sancho, while they have given unconvincing performances in their opening two Premier League matches.
Rooney feels the club have got their transfer priorities mixed up and, rather than targeting attackers, should have been looking to bolster their defence with a particular emphasis on more adventurous full-backs.
‘That Bruno Fernandes and Van de Beek — United’s last major signings — are two very good players who prefer the same position is another example of how their buying could have been more targeted,’ Wayne Rooney wrote in his column for The Times.
‘Personally, if I were doing their recruiting, as well as that No 9 I’d go for another centre half to partner Harry Maguire and try for Brighton & Hove Albion’s Tariq Lamptey, who looks a brilliant attacking right back.
‘While Aaron Wan-Bissaka has done OK defensively, you want United full backs to put the opposition on the back foot when the team have the ball and I don’t think he does that.
‘The game has changed and where before your full backs didn’t have to be attacking players, they just had to provide overlaps and be an option, nowadays they have to play a full part going forward — flooding the gaps when wide strikers such as Marcus Rashford come in from the sides.’
Wan-Bissaka failed to score for United last season and laid on just four assists, a tally which leaves a lot to be desired compared to the Premier League’s best attacking full-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Liverpool star netted four times in the Premier League and laid on a mammoth 13 assists – only Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne managed more.
Another United legend, Gary Neville, recently defended Wan-Bissaka’s lack of attacking output, likening the 22-year-old to himself, and feels he just needs a creative right winger ahead of him.