Rooney believes Man Utd have their new deadly duo

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Rooney impressed with team-mates Depay and Martial
Rooney impressed with team-mates Depay and Martial

Wayne Rooney has backed Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay to emerge as superstars in the Manchester United side in the coming years - even if that means he is cast aside.

Rooney indifferent form this season has inspired a growing army of critics to suggest his time is up at United, with calls for Martial to be restored to a central striking role emphasised after Sunday's Manchester derby.

Once again, Rooney was ineffective in the 0-0 draw against Manchester City, with his golden days at United seemingly now in the past.

Yet the skipper believes United have a couple of stars who could form the kind of attacking partnership he enjoyed with Cristiano Ronaldo in his early days at United, as he offered these views on Martial and Depay.

"They are certainly two very good players who have lots of talent and ability," he told United Review.

"If they keep learning and progressing like they are, then hopefully they will do what me and Ronaldo did back then. It would be great for the team if they can do that.

"The good thing is that they want to learn and that is good to see in young players. They haven't come in and just done things the way they want to do them.

"They are doing things for the team and listening to what the manager is saying to them. I am sure under this manager they will learn a lot and that will help them become top, top players in the world."

Rooney went on to praise Martial for his sparkling displays since his £36m move to Old Trafford in September, as he believes the teenager has what it takes to become a United great.

"I think he has been incredible, how he has come over to Manchester and started the way he has," added Rooney.

"Let's not forget he is still a very young lad as well. To come over with his young family and start the way he has, he deserves a lot of credit.

"You can see what a good player he is and he'll be an important player for us from now until the end of the season. He is probably the quickest player in our team, if not the quickest in the league."

It remains to be seen whether an ageing Rooney fits into a team alongside Martial and Depay, with pressure on his place in the team likely to continue this week as United take on Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup and Crystal Palace in the Premier League.