Cape Town - Wayne Rooney is gone but not forgotten at Manchester United, with manager Jose Mourinho saying ‘I miss the guy a lot".
The 31-year-old recently returned to boyhood club Everton after 13 seasons at Old Trafford, and Mourinho says he is feeling the absence of Rooney’s “very positive influence" at the club.
"I'm not the kind of guy that gets normally emotional in my job and I did it with him when he left," Mourinho said, via The Telegraph.
“But I am sure that he's going to be very good for Everton, and Everton is going to be very good for him.
"He was such an important guy and a good guy for us. I just think it is a new period without that face, without that leader, without that good influence on us."
Mourinho also insisted that United let him know that he could stay, but that he had also earned the choice to move elsewhere in search of more game time.
"He deserves what he got and what he got was ... our respect by letting it be completely clear that we would like him to stay," Mourinho said.
"And at the same time the respect that allows him to be happy, allow him to try to play every game, every minute which honestly I think he needs."