Alan Shearer has praised Wayne Rooney
's vital contribution to Manchester United's quest for success this season.England striker Rooney, 24, has netted 19 Premier League goals this season and has blossomed at United since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure, says Shearer. [LNB]The former Newcastle United manager told BBC Radio 5 live: "I think he has actually carried Manchester United on his own at times this season. [LNB]"He is a great player and that's what great players do." [LNB]Rooney has thrived since arriving at Old Trafford in September 2004 for £27m and following Ronaldo's departure for Real Madrid last summer he has excelled. [LNB]United went top of the Premier League at the weekend as Rooney scored all four in a 4-0 victory over Hull City. [LNB] As important as he is to Manchester United, he is just as important to England Alan Shearer on Wayne Rooney
His all-round development has not gone unnoticed by Shearer, himself a prolific striker for Blackburn, Newcastle United and England before his retirement in 2006. [LNB]"I think his performances have been spectacular and I hope he's not peaking too soon, as an England fan," Shearer said. [LNB]"As important as he is to Manchester United, he is just as important to England, and I don't think anyone should forget that. [LNB]"On the other hand there were question marks. People were saying he has to step up his performance this year because of the loss of Ronaldo and boy has he done that." [LNB]With the World Cup looming this summer, Shearer feels Rooney has the endurance and fitness to thrive despite facing a heavy workload over the next six months. [LNB]"I wouldn't bother resting him - I don't think he appreciates being rested either," added Shearer.[LNB] Rooney is having his best ever season Soccer Star Shivam "I was exactly the same, you know your own body better than anyone else. [LNB]"He seems to thrive on playing and he hates missing games. [LNB]"The fear I have with him is injury and that is not something he, nor anyone, can do anything about." [LNB]Rooney, meanwhile, accepts he is always likely to be on the radar of other clubs when he is in top form - but once again restated his desire to remain at Old Trafford. [LNB]"When other big teams are talking about you, it's nice that you're talked about," said the former Everton player. [LNB]"But as I've said many times before, I'm a United player and I'm very happy here. [LNB]"We've won the league the last three years and nobody has ever won it four times in a row. We want to create history. [LNB]"But we're hoping that now we are top we can go on and remain there for the rest of the season."