Mata and Herrera back captain Rooney

Juan Mata and Ander Herrera have backed their captain Wayne Rooney and insisted he has "nothing to prove."

Mata and Herrera back captain Rooney
Mata believes Rooney was key in Saturday's win over Norwich. (Photo source: Getty images)

Wayne Rooney, for all of his achievements has faced criticism throughout his career, but two Manchester United teammates have stated that their captain has “nothing to prove” for his club or England.

Rooney is his country’s all-time top goal scorer and is just five goals shy of equalling United great and current leading goal scorer Sir Bobby Charlton.

Despite his achievements, the United number 10 has been criticised this season for his performances as a striker, though has looked strong playing in central midfield recently.

Club team mates Juan Mata and Ander Herrera have been quick to praise Rooney and warn United and England fans not to write him off, insisting he is a “world class player.”

Mata and Herrera have publicly backed Rooney. (Photo source: Reuters)

The United skipper played as a striker in the 1-0 win over Norwich City at the weekend and Mata thought he was key to the victory.

He told ESPN: “Wayne got an assist and showed very good movement. He played a great ball. Wayne is important for us no matter what position he plays in.”

Mata also went on to state that his captain has the ability to play in all positions on the pitch, and thinks he will be vital for England at this summer’s European Championships.

He continued: “I would imagine that Roy Hodgson is very happy with the positions that Wayne can play in. Also with the experience he can bring to the dressing room.”

Mata’s fellow Spaniard Herrera has echoed his fellow countryman’s words stating Rooney is “unselfish” and “a very good captain” as well as thinking that Rooney will add balance to the youthful and pacey England team.

Rooney key for run-in

Marcus Rashford could return to lead the line for United against West Ham United after he was rested for the trip to Carrow Road, meaning Rooney may revert to his central midfield role to help dictate the play for United.

With the Red Devils needing to win their final two games of the season to guarantee Champions League football next term, Rooney will be key to the United side that look to end the season strongly, particularly as they look to lift the FA Cup later this month.