Rooney has been refreshed for the good of Man Utd – Smalling

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Chris Smalling believes Louis van Gaal’s decision to rest Wayne Rooney over Christmas has been a blessing in disguise for Manchester United.

The Red Devils captain was left out of the starting lineup for the Boxing Day clash with Stoke City, coming on at half-time to replace Memphis Depay.

Since then, Rooney has started to rediscover his best scoring form with five goals in his past four outings and defender Smalling suggests the little freshen up has done wonders.

“Since he has missed that game and come back in he has shown he is a top class performer,” the 26-year-old said.

“It can refresh you and spur you on a bit more to prove to everyone just how good you are and people don’t forget that.

“Given his career as a striker you go through periods where you don’t score but the best ones are the ones that come…

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