Wayne Rooney is aiming to top the 20-goal mark for Manchester United this season – and thinks the club can ‘achieve great things’ together
With Cristiano Ronaldo now installed at Real Madrid for a world-record £80million and Carlos Tevez controversially becoming part of Mark Hughes’ expanding squad at Manchester City, more focus will be on Rooney as United look to complete an unprecedented fourth successive league title.
The England star has shown no sign of the pressure affecting him so far even if, despite the encouragement of Chinese supporters, he was unable to get on the mark in an eight-goal romp against Hangzhou Greentown on Sunday.
And, he admits last year’s tally of 20 has given him something to improve on.
“I have always said I would like to score more goals than the previous season so that is what I am aiming for again this time,” he told United’s website.
“If I can do that I will be really happy.”
Although plenty of doubts have been expressed about how United will cope without Ronaldo in particular, Rooney is not too concerned.
With the arrival of Michael Owen United have bolstered their attacking ranks, while £17million new-boy Antonio Valencia links up with his new team-mates in Munich on Monday to bring extra pace.
“I am pretty relaxed about things,” said Rooney. “There are a lot of great players in our team and we know if we all work together then we are capable of achieving great things.”
With the Far East leg of their pre-season campaign over, United now meet more meaningful opposition in the Audi Cup.
Nemanja Vidic will join Valencia as an addition to Sir Alex Ferguson’s tour squad but the trip has come too soon for Owen Hargreaves, who will continue his recovery from operations on both knees.
Boca Juniors lie in wait on Wednesday, with either Bayern Munich or AC Milan the opponents 24 hours later in what represents the true test of how much work has been done over the past 10 days.