Gareth Southgate fears Rooney may have passed his peak

Mancheste United striker, Wayne Rooney

Former England defender, Gareth Southgate, fears Wayne Rooney may have already passed his peak. The Metro reports.

Rooney has endured a frustrating past few months, being suspended for England’s opening two group matches at Euro 2012 and failing to deliver on his return to the big stage.

The 26-year-old then suffered a deep gash to his thigh in Manchester United’s first home match of the season against Fulham, ruling him out of action for the past month.

He made a return to action in the Capital One Cup win over Newcastle on Wednesday, but his place in the United side is no longer secure after the arrival of Robin van Persie from Arsenal.

Rooney enjoyed a spectacular start to his career, scoring a superb goal for Everton against the Gunners as a 16-year-old, before superb performances for England at Euro 2004 earned him a £30million move to the Red Devils.

But he has struggled to perform consistently for his country since then and Southgate fears Rooney’s best days may be behind him.

“He’s still a young man so hopefully we’re still to see the best of him, but some players peak young and their best years are earlier than others,” Southgate told The Sun.

‘We won’t know with Wayne Rooney if that’s the case until he’s 28-30.’