Wayne Rooney: 'My best years at Man Utd are yet to come'

Wayne Rooney scored against West Ham
Wayne Rooney's opener against West Ham was his 176th Premier League goal - third on the all-time scoring list

Wayne Rooney believes he can still improve as a footballer and that his best years are yet to come.

Speaking to The Sunday Times to mark 10 years at Old Trafford, the 28-year-old said he "reads the game" better than ever.

In an interview before Saturday's sending off against West Ham, the Manchester United and England captain said he was "a lot more mature".

"I now know exactly what I want to do on the pitch," Rooney said.

Wayne Rooney's red cards
27 Sep 2014 - Man Utd v West Ham (W2-1, Premier League)1 July 2006 - England v Portugal (D0-0, L1-3 pens, World Cup)
7 Oct 2011 - England in Montenegro (D2-2, Euro 2012 qualifier)14 Sep 2005 - Manchester United at Villarreal (0-0, Champions League)
21 Mar 2009 - Manchester United at Fulham (L0-2, Premier League)26 Dec 2002 - Everton at Birmingham (D1-1, Premier League)

Rooney's dismissal in the 59th minute for a high foul on West Ham's Stewart Downing was the sixth of his career, but the striker's first for United since March 2009.

He had earlier put United on the way to a 2-1 victory with his 219th goal for the club.

Rooney added: "I still believe I can get better as a footballer. In the next three to five years you will see me as a different player. The next two or three I feel could be the best of my career.

"I'm at a stage, especially after playing at this club for 10 years, where I've picked up a lot about the game - I've learnt.

Wayne Rooney is sent off against West Ham
United boss Louis van Gaal accepted Rooney's dismissal on Saturday, calling it a "professional foul"

"When I was younger I wasted far too much energy charging around in the last 15 minutes. I'd be tired, your legs aren't fresh and you might miss a chance.

"I'm a better footballer now than I was then. When I was younger I was raw, there were moments when I did spectacular stuff, but now overall my play is better."

After coming close to leaving Old Trafford twice in his decade at the club, Rooney added: "It's more than likely I'll be here for the rest of my career."

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