'He was useless' - Eamon Dunphy lambastes Manchester United's big-money flops
Eamon Dunphy has taken aim at Manchester United's under-performing stars and believes Jose Mourinho will need to conduct serious surgery on his squad this summer if they are to become title challengers.
The Portuguese suffered his first league defeat to Arsenal yesterday at the Emirates, all but ending their Top Four ambitions, but it was the nature of the defeat that concerned Dunphy.
The outspoken pundit was critical of Wayne, Rooney, Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mhkitaryan and Paul Pogba.
Mourinho must now depend on Europa League success if United are to qualify for the Champions League but even if his gamble pays off, there is still a lot of work to do at Old Trafford.
Writing in his column in today's Irish Daily Star, Dunphy wrote: "It was sad to see another chapter in the demise of the once great Wayne Rooney unfold before our eyes.
"Rooney is one of the great Premier League players and a star worthy of a place amongst the pantheon of Manchester United greats.
"But these days, he's just a shadow of his former self - a status underlined when he feebly missed a great chance from close range that simple hit Petr Cech instead of bustling in the net.
"That chance would have been meat and drink to Rooney a few years ago. But not now.
"United want Rooney off the wage bill with his €325k-per-week required to fund the next spending spree this summer.
"Rooney does not look too bothered if he doesn't play and he will probably hold tight in July before moving in August with Everton the likely destination.
"Martial was poor again yesterday. He was useless.
"He's not United quality and I have grave doubts as to whether he has the class to make it at any other top flight side in England.
"Mhkitaryan is another big name signing who has flattered since his arrival at the club.
"Unlike the acquisition of Martial, who was signed by Louis van Gaal, it was Mourinho who splashed out almost €40m on Mhkitaryan.
"Pogba was on the bench for this defeat but had he started or come into the match, would he have changed the game? I never feel that he's capable of doing that.
"United remain well off the pace set by Chelsea and it will require further huge investment to bridge the gap between Old Trafford and Antonio Conte's squad."
United face Celta Vigo on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg in Spain.