Former Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham has told ESPN FC that Wayne Rooney can return to scoring form if his manager Louis van Gaal uses him in the right system.
Sheringham, 49, who scored for United in their famous 1999 Champions League final win against Bayern Munich and won three Premier League titles in his time at Old Trafford, is backing the current United skipper to find his scoring touch again if he is given some support by Van Gaal.
Rooney has struggled to make his mark in a lone striking role and has faced calls from United supporters to be removed from the position and replaced by the youthful Anthony Martial.
Yet Sheringham has rejected the notion that 30-year-old Rooney can no longer be effective for United, as he suggests accommodating the striker who is on course to become the club's all-time record goal scorer is a dilemma Van Gaal has to solve.
"Rooney will score goals if he is given the right kind of set-up to work in. He has proved that time and again down the years," Stevenage manager Sheringham told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview.
"All I would say is playing up front on your own is very tough. Not many players can pull that off successfully. I certainly wouldn't have fancied trying to play that role and always had a partner alongside me.
"Van Gaal is trying something different at Man Utd and it is not quite suiting Wayne Rooney at the moment. You have a top-quality player there, so you would like to think there is a way of finding a system that will suit him. It is up to the manager to work that out."
Sheringham urged United fans to show some patience with Van Gaal, despite repeated criticism of what is perceived to be the less than entertaining style of play being promoted by the Dutchman.
"They are fourth in the league, two points behind the leaders," he said. "That doesn't sound like a bad position to be in if you are not firing on all cylinders.
"They could be playing great football in the Premier League and still be fourth, so people need to keep some perspective and see how it all pans out later in the season. They have good players at United, so I'm sure they will do well."
While Rooney has struggled to fire in front of goal for United this season, one of his newest England teammates has shot to the fore, with Leicester's Jamie Vardy grabbing 12 Premier League goals in the opening three months of the campaign.
There are some similarities between Sheringham's rise from the lower leagues of the game with Millwall to the very top and Vardy's rapid leap from obscurity to the international stage, with the striker who played 51 times for England a big admirer of the Leicester marksman.
"He has put himself in the front line and listening to people who have played at the level he is at now can only help him," Sheringham said.
"Vardy always had the talent and the drive to succeed, but he just needed to get into the box more and score more goals. He is doing that now and people like Kevin Phillips [ex-England striker], who was working with him at Leicester last year, have helped his development.
"It is nice to see a player coming through the ranks from the lower divisions of the game and making his mark in the Premier League and with England.
"We saw a similar breakthrough from Harry Kane at Tottenham in the last year. I like him a lot. He scored 31 goals last season and he has clearly shown something in the junior teams. It's not lucky when players come through.
"If you have the talent, then you should be given a chance to play at the highest level. Vardy and Kane have proved that you can make a breakthrough at the top level, even in an era when top clubs Premier League sign a lot of foreign players."