Jose Mourinho’s first season at Manchester United got off to a great start, but things have somewhat stunted in recent weeks.
The Red Devils won their first three Premier League games, although since then have won just one in six, a run which included a 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester City and a 4-0 thrashing away at Chelsea.
Mourinho’s side sit seventh in the table, already five points adrift of their neighbours at the top, and will hope to get back to winning ways when they face Pep Guardiola’s side in the League Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
There have been some decent performances from United this season, but who has been their most creative player in their first nine Premier League matches?
Remarkably, it’s their captain Wayne Rooney.
A lot has been made about the role the 31-year-old should play in the United eleven and, as a result, England’s record goal-scorer has only started five of those nine matches.
Nevertheless, he is joint-top of the assists column alongside Anthony Martial and defender Daley Blind with two, and only winger Jesse Lingard (2) has averaged more key passes per games than Rooney (1.5) so far this season. However, Rooney’s tally of 12 chances created is more than any other player in the United squad.
He remains just one of seven United players to have netted in their Premier League campaign – the second in their 3-1 win at Bournemouth in August – and only Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford have had more shots per game than the England captain.
Rooney has also been integral to United’s Europa League campaign, with his two assists and 2.5 key passes per game better than any other in the Red Devils’ ranks.
Regardless of what has been said, the 31-year-old continues to show his worth to United whenever he takes to the field.