Manchester United’s slim hope of a top-four finish dimmed further on Wednesday with the news that captain Wayne Rooney ahas been ruled out for two months after suffering knee ligament damage.
With Rooney not expected to return until mid-April, he could miss as many as 11 matches for United, including games against Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton and Tottenham.
After struggling with form for most of the season Rooney has been in a hot streak in recent weeks, scoring seven goals in the last nine games, but his absence means United with just one senior striker in Anthony Martial. Will Keane has been added to the squad to face Midtjylland in the Europa League.
The lack of attacking options for United will once again bring up the club’s failed transfer policy as United have never replaced Robin van Persie or Javier Hernandez, who both left in the summer.
Rooney’s absence will also force England manager Roy Hodgson to shuffle his plans for the international friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands, although Hodgson is expected to use the fixtures to give a number of fringe players the chance to cement their place in the squad for the Euro 2016 championship in summer.