Rooney now desperate to end Premier League goal drought

Paul Hirst 10/09/2015
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Delight: Rooney.

Wayne Rooney hopes his record-breaking achievements with England will inspire him to break his duck for Manchester United against Liverpool on Saturday.

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The Red Devils’ captain surpassed his hero Sir Bobby Charlton in the scoring charts on Tuesday with a late penalty in England’s 2-0 win over Switzerland.

Rooney has now scored nine goals in his last 10 England appearances, but for United, he has struggled of late. The 29-year-old has not scored in his last 10 Premier League games, but he hopes that will change on Saturday when Liverpool come to Old Trafford for Louis van Gaal’s biggest game of the year so far.

“To achieve what I have, I would be lying if I said it didn’t put a spring in my step and make you want to carry on (scoring),” the United captain said.

“I am very happy and grateful, but I go back to Manchester, get back into training and start focusing on Liverpool. Hopefully getting two goals in the last two games will mean I continue scoring.

“There’s no better game to go into than Liverpool at home after losing our last game, it is a game we have to win and it’s something I’m looking forward to.”

Rooney’s United and England team-mate Chris Smalling expects the striker to be full of confidence on Saturday after scoring his 50th goal for the Three Lions.

“If you come back off a good performance and breaking a record it can only be good for motivation and confidence and I think we will see a flying Wayne Rooney come Saturday,” the United defender said.

“Scoring in the last two games and his performances have been good – it will only lead to more.”

After giving a brief yet purposeful speech to his team-mates following the game, Rooney turned on his phone to see he had received swathes of congratulatory messages.

Former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was not one of them at the time – but Rooney said he would catch up with the Scot on United’s next European away trip to Eindhoven next week. Touchingly, one of the first messages he received was from Charlton.

“I’ve had loads of messages, but I’ve only read a few,” Rooney said. “I had one off Sir Bobby which was good, saying ‘you played well, congratulations’. That means a lot for me – to break his record and for him to get in touch straight away. I’m grateful for that. That was one of the first ones.”

Rooney admitted to being nervous as he placed the ball on the spot shortly after Raheem Sterling was brought down in the box. What followed after the ball struck the back of the net was an outpouring of emotion.

“I’m not really an emotional person at times but I was a bit overwhelmed,” he said. “I was very nervous. I didn’t see them at the time, but the lads said there were flashlights in the crowd and it was like being at a concert.

“I just composed myself and knew which corner I was going. I just thought ‘put your boot through the ball and if the keeper stops it it’ll have to be a great save’. Thankfully the power took it in.”

“I won’t put a target on how many goals (I can score), but I am happy the record has gone,’’ he added. “I train every day as if my place is on the line and I have always done that throughout my career.”

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Leicester and Swansea interested in Hull's Ahmed Elmohamady

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Ahmed Elmohamady: On the move?

Egypt international Ahmed Elmohamady is considering leaving Hull City in January and has offers from several Premier League clubs, including Swansea and Leicester City.

Elmohamady, 27, has been in England since moving from Egyptian side ENPPI to Sunderland in 2010. He joined Hull City – first on loan and then in a permanent switch – in 2012.

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After suffering relegation with the Tigers last season, though, Elmohamady is keen to test himself at a higher level and is ready to leave the KC Stadium.  

He has been linked with a move back to Egypt with Cairo giants Al Ahly, but a source close to the player has told Sport360 that he is keen to stay in England and has offers from a number of clubs.

“The player is expected to leave Hull in January," the source told Sport360. "Several offers from mid-table Premier League clubs have been received like Swansea and Leicester, who are interested in Ahmed because of his experience. 

"He prefers to continue his English journey and is open to any other European country, but will not go back to Egypt.”

There is still a chance Elmohamady will stay at the KC Stadium, but it is dependent on whether Hull – currently second in the Championship table – are still in contention for an immediate return to the Premier League in January.

Elmohamady has more Premier League appearances than any other Arab player, having played a combined 137 games in the division. 

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Danny Welbeck ruled out "for months" after knee surgery

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It was thought Welbeck would be back in the coming weeks.

Arsenal will be without England forward Danny Welbeck for several months after he underwent surgery on a knee problem.

The 24-year-old, signed from Manchester United on deadline day in September 2014, last played for the Gunners in April, missing both the FA Cup final and end-of-season internationals.

Despite hopes Welbeck would be able to recover from bone bruising around the knee, Arsenal announced in a statement on Thursday the player had needed an operation and was now set for an extended spell of rehabilitation.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had hoped the forward would be available soon after the international break. However, following an increased training schedule, it was decided surgery would be needed.

A statement from Arsenal read: “Danny Welbeck has undergone surgery on his left knee after being unable to sufficiently step up his rehabilitation work.

“The striker has been working throughout the summer to recover from the injury sustained at the end of April.

“It had been hoped he would avoid surgery, but after increasing his training workload, the injury to his cartilage did not respond as well as hoped and the decision was taken last week for him to undergo surgery by a leading specialist in the field.

“Danny is now expected to be out for a period of months and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well.”

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With the decision to operate having come last week, there would have still been time for Arsenal to move in the transfer window to bolster the attacking options.

Arsenal had long been linked with a move for first Karim Benzema at Real Madrid and then Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani from Paris St Germain.

However, the deadline passed with no further additions to Wenger’s squad apart from veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech, who arrived earlier in the summer from Chelsea.

The Gunners recovered from losing their opening Barclays Premier League match at home to West Ham, winning two of the three games since.

Midfielder Jack Wilshere continues his recovery from a hairline fracture in the left fibula and could be back in contention when domestic action resumes at home to Stoke on September 12.

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