KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 – Wayne Rooney is starting to mature but still has plenty of room for improvement, according to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.With Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez leaving over the summer, the spotlight has turned on Rooney who will be expected to score more goals this season after getting 20 in all competitions during the last campaign.
He got his first in United’s 3-2 friendly victory over a Malaysian XI here on Saturday, and Ferguson said he was confident the 23-year-old can cope with the extra pressure.
"You are seeing maturity from Wayne now, which is what you expect from younger players, but there is a still a lot of improvement to come. He’s not the finished article yet," he said.
"The expectation on Rooney is always high. It is a natural situation as it is the standard which he has set for himself."
His comments echo those of England manager Fabio Capello who recently said he believed Rooney would be a more devastating striker by the time the 2010 World Cup kicks off in just under a year.
"Wayne is young and he can improve," Capello said. "I accept it is more a case of going upwards a little bit from 90 percent rather than 70 percent but he can improve three or four percent and that is very important."
Rooney will lead the United attack this year with Dimitar Berbatov, new signing Michael Owen and fast-improving teenager Federico Macheda.