Wayne Rooney should retire from international duty to focus on prolonging his Manchester United career, according to former England captain Alan Shearer.
Current skipper Rooney was named in Sam Allardyce’s first squad on Sunday having set up United’s late winner in a 1-0 Premier League victory at Hull City a day earlier.
But Shearer claims the time has come for the 30-year-old forward – notably listed as a midfielder by Allardyce – to accept he can no longer cope with the demands of international football and remain a part of Jose Mourinho’s first-team plans.
“This is a Manchester United squad of real depth and power and Rooney needs to be producing at the highest level to make sure he stays in it,” Shearer wrote in his column for The Sun.
“It is time for Rooney to be selfish and start thinking just about himself.
“And that, I really regret to say, means his retirement from international football.
“I don’t say this in the belief that he is no longer good enough for England – he is.
“But he is 30 now and captaining your club and country, satisfying the demand to play at the top level for both, gets harder.”
Shearer explained his decision to retire from England duty at 29 after Euro 2000 allowed him to continue playing for Newcastle United until he was 35.
“Rooney can feel no shame if he takes the decision,” Shearer added. “He has been selfless in his approach to England, often playing through injury to make sure he represents his country.
“He is our all-time record goalscorer and wears that shirt with pride.
“It has not gone well for him in major finals, not least in France at the Euros. But there has never been a lack of effort.
“He has not just been playing for club and country for over a decade now, but of late has captained both. That can mentally take its toll.
“You feel that extra responsibility, particularly when the profile is so high at Old Trafford.
“It is time for him to acknowledge that he simply can’t keep doing both – and I mean that for his own good.”