Former Liverpool star and TV pundit Alan Hansen has argued that one of the decisive factors in England's early World Cup exit is that Wayne Rooney doesn't have the superstar power to save games for the side.

The Three Lions had hoped to at least progress through the group stages but with tough opponents in Uruguay and Italy, they have so far been unable to collect a single point in the tournament.

Rooney scored against Uruguary but Liverpool striker Luis Suarez got two over his domestic rival, keeping the South American side's hopes of qualifying for the next round alive and leaving England to rely on other results, which didn't go their way.

But Hansen believes that until England produces a player of Suarez's standard – and Rooney is far from it – the side will continue to fail at the first hurdles.

He wrote in the Telegraph: "Italy defeated England because of Andrea Pirlo and Uruguay claimed victory because they had Luis Suarez. Italy and Uruguay each have a superstar, while England do not.

"Wayne Rooney is a great player, but he is not a Pirlo or a Suárez and you have to say that time is not on his side to assume the superstar mantle which he appeared destined to claim when he burst onto the scene at Euro 2004.

"Rooney really had a chance. Until he broke his metatarsal against Portugal in the quarter-final of Euro 2004, he was a 'wow' player and, at 18, appeared to have the world at his feet.

"He was England's best player against Uruguay and made things happen, but Pirlo and Suárez proved themselves to be on a different level."

Hansen also pointed to the lack of quality surrounding Rooney as a problem in his performances but insisted that with him nearing 30 an over-reliance on the Manchester United man is counterproductive to England's progress.

"It is unfair to burden Rooney with the pressure of having to deliver like Pirlo and Suárez," he explained. "His inability to elevate himself into the same stratosphere as those players is a combination of two things.

"Firstly, at 28, Wayne is no longer the player we saw 10 years ago and, secondly, the players around him in the England team are not as good as those surrounding Pirlo and Suárez, so it is more difficult for him to have the same impact."