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Former England manager Fabio Capello feels Wayne Rooney had lost some of his edge before swapping the Premier League for Major League Soccer last year.
Manchester United and England's record goalscorer plumped for a return to boyhood club Everton in July 2017 but he stayed just one season before leaving to sign for DC United.
Capello, who has exchanged occasional barbs with Rooney in the past about their time together with England, delivered a withering assessment of the striker's most recent spell at the Toffees.
The Italian would not comment on England but, speaking in his role as a Laureus Ambassador, he said of Rooney: "He decided to go to America, it is new football, different football.
"It is a new experience and a lot of Italian players go there to finish off their careers.
"Rooney is a good player, but I saw the season when he returned to Everton and he didn't perform well.
"He was on the pitch but like another part of the team.
"It was not the Rooney I remember - fighting, running - nothing. He lost everything, all his characteristics."
Mauricio Pochettino "ticks every box" to be the next long-term manager of Manchester United, according to club record goalscorer Wayne Rooney.
The Tottenham boss has been strongly linked with the Old Trafford vacancy since the sacking of Jose Mourinho last month, and Rooney believes his record at Spurs makes him the ideal candidate for the job.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in interim charge of United and has overseen seven wins out of seven since taking on the role, with the latest success being a 2-1 Premier League victory over Brighton on Saturday.
Rooney, working as an analyst for ESPN FC, said: "I think first of all you have to give Ole an opportunity, if he continues the way he is going then I'm sure that will be a discussion for (executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward and the Glazers whether he keeps the job. But if I had the opportunity to appoint somebody then I would go all out for Pochettino.
"Manchester United - for the last 20 or 30 years, since Sir Alex Ferguson anyway - have based themselves on young players, bringing players through.
"Pochettino gets the best out of his players, whether they're young or older players, but he also gives the young players a chance.
"You see some of the young players he has brought through at Tottenham, and Southampton, who have gone on to play for the national team.
"I think he ticks every box in terms of his quality as a coach but also his willingness to give young players a chance."
The 33-year-old striker paid a £19.65 fine and £71.50 costs on Friday after being held shortly before Christmas.Read the full story ›