Former Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney has slammed Jose Mourinho, saying the Portuguese treated the club’s academy as if it ‘didn’t exist’ during his time at Old Trafford.
Mourinho spent two-and-a-half-years at Old Trafford following his appointment in 2016.
Rooney was the captain at Old Trafford during Mourinho’s first season at the club.
Mourinho’s appointment represented a departure from United’s traditions of bringing in academy players into the first team but it (his appointment) was considered necessary at the time, mainly because of the appointment of Pep Guardiola by Manchester City.
However, Mourinho departed the club after falling out with the board and Rooney noted that the former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Chelsea boss was guilty of only focusing on the first-team, which made everyone else at the club feel like they didn’t exist.,
“The distance between the academy and the first team and the manager, especially under Mourinho, was huge,’ Rooney said on Monday Night Football.
“It was almost as if they didn’t exist, if you like.
“Having the relationship they had with Sir Alex [Ferguson] for 26 years and then not being allowed anywhere near the first team… It’s almost like there was a divorce between the first team and the academy.”