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Man Utd legend Charlton: Rooney growing into leader just like Cantona

Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton has likened Wayne Rooney's new role to what happened to Eric Cantona.

The departures of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Edwin van der Sar, Owen Hargreaves, Wes Brown and John O'Shea has seen Rooney rise up United's age order.

And Charlton believes the added responsibility has brought out a new dimension in the striker.

"I think he has responded to all the new young players around him," Sir Bobby told the Manchester Evening News.

"When the David Beckham, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes era began they had Eric Cantona to look up to. They learned from him.

"We have a similar sort of young group coming through now and I think Wayne has responded to the new responsibility in the same way Eric did.

"What Cantona did for that group in 1995 I think Wayne can do for the current new generation. He has blossomed as a result of having these younger lads around him.

"It is a two-fold thing just as the Class of '92 responded to Eric Cantona, so Eric responded and his game got even better. Wayne is doing the same now.

"Both parties can benefit from it. The young players will learn from Wayne and he'll get something from them. He's happy and seems to be enjoying and thriving on his new responsibilities.

"I can always remember our youth coaches going on about this young kid at Everton years ago. When your staff goes on about someone like that you never forget it.

"I was just glad when we got him. I wasn't worried last season I am just glad he is playing for us and nobody else."

 It's the home stretch! 24/7 click for the best coverage of Manchester United's final transfer market moves

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