Wayne Rooney insists any potential title challenge for Manchester United will take at least ‘two of three years’ as the club continue their rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Manchester United currently sit in fifth spot in the Premier League following a mixed campaign thus far, though remain in contention for both the FA Cup and Europa League during Solskjaer’s first full season at Old Trafford.
Rooney – United’s all-time record goalscorer with 253 goals – is preparing to meet his former side as his Derby County side welcome the Red Devils to Pride Park in the FA Cup fifth round this evening, and has given his verdict on the club’s progress so far this season.
The former England captain has urged fans to be patient and believes it could take ‘take time’ for the club to reestablish themselves as title challengers, whilst adding that securing qualification for the Champions League could prove vital to the club’s hopes of success.
“It is going to take another two or three years, I believe,” Rooney said in an interview with The Telegraph.
“The important thing is for them to try and get into the Champions League this year. It is really tight at the minute. I think that will help them a lot if they can do that, but it is going to take time.
“The United fans need to be a bit patient with what’s going on and let these players try and prove themselves. They need to bring some players in, they need to also get rid of some players, and within two or three years they have to be challenging again.
“It’s not going to be a quick fix. They’ve tried that with [Louis] Van Gaal, and [Jose] Mourinho.
“If you look at Liverpool and what they’ve done, they have built that team, and Man City, [Pep] Guardiola has gradually brought more players in for his way of playing. So United have to be patient and try to build a team that will be able to challenge those two.”