Gareth McAuley thinks Wayne Rooney has been unfairly treated by Manchester United
Wayne Rooney has become a peripheral figure at Manchester United this season since Jose Mourinho was appointed manager.
The United captain has made just nine Premier League starts and could be sold in the summer.
However, West Brom defender Gareth McAuley thinks criticism of Rooney is unfounded, claiming he still has a lot to offer the Red Devils.
"I still think he's a quality player," McAuley told the Belfast Telegraph.
West Brom are on target for their highest-ever Premier League points tally
"I think sometimes people look for scapegoats. And with Wayne being such a high profile player, he gets a lot of criticism.
"I feel a lot of it is probably unfair. I still think he has got a lot to offer at Manchester United.
"Whether he stays there or not is probably down to him, it's his decision."
West Brom face United at Old Trafford on Saturday (3pm) as they chase their highest-ever Premier League points tally.
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And having surpassed the 40-point mark which usually secures safety, McAuley has admitted the Baggies can now play without fear for the rest of the season.
"We're eighth in the league, in a good place and want to get over the 50 points mark," McAuley added.
"We are going to have to go to Old Trafford and face Chelsea at home to reach that milestone.
"They are big games but we can play with a bit of freedom because we are well over the 40 point mark which is what you usually need to be clear of relegation."