Wayne Rooney is back to his best for Manchester United after the troubles of last season, according to boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
The last campaign was the most difficult of Rooney’s career so far, as his form nose-dived after a disastrous showing at the World Cup and he failed to register from open play in the Premier League until the turn of the year.
But the England striker impressed towards the end of last season and has begun the new campaign in much the same vein, scoring a superb opener against West Brom last weekend.
And Ferguson believes the troubles of last term are a thing of the past.
“All that’s a year ago,” he said. “We have moved on.”
“Wayne has been flying in pre-season. His fitness is terrific, he has the same energy all the time. He is a restless player on the pitch and he never stands still. He is a tremendous asset.”
“It’s interesting to see how he is combining with (Danny) Welbeck at the moment. Both are doing very well together.”
“When Chicharito comes back, I’ll have a selection problem about the best combination and [Dimitar] Berbatov has done very well in pre-season.”
“The boy Chicharito has goals written all over him, and it’s not a bad position to be in actually.”
While United may currently not be lacking in quality attacking options, however, the defence is a different story.
A host of injuries, most notably to first-choice centre-backs Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, have plagued United’s backline in the run-up to Monday’s clash with Tottenham, meaning Ferguson may have to put his faith in youngsters such as Chris Smalling and new boy Phil Jones.
But the Scot has no problem with doing just that, as he believes the less experienced members of his squad are more than capable of taking the opportunity fortune has presented to them, and even of giving him a selection dilemma when his star names return to fitness.
“Rio and Vida are aware of the abilities of the young players – there’s no question about that,” he said.
“In respect to injuries, there’s nothing you can do if they are injured so it’s not an issue for me at the moment in terms of deciding who will be the centre-backs because both are injured.”
“When they’re both fit or one of them is, then I will have a decision to make.”
“I don’t see this as a challenge for the young players, it’s a responsibility. They are certainly in an important position.”
“They have the ability and the temperament so I don’t see it as a worry. I see it more as something I’m looking forward to than worrying about.”