Former Manchester United winger Nani has backed his ex-teammate Wayne Rooney to rediscover his touch in the coming weeks. The United captain has been widely criticised for his performances of late – but Nani is confident Rooney will come through the latest sticky patch in his career.

Nani, who spent eight seasons at Old Trafford from 2007-2015, has insisted Rooney remains a key player at United and has backed him to bounce back from his downturn in form.

"Rooney is a special player. Strong, fantastic quality, shooting, vision – very intelligent," the ex-United star told Omnisport. "I enjoyed playing with him. He is a player who is a big part of Man Utd. He has the chance to improve that and build his story. If he continues to play at a high level he can become the best there."

Nani has also backed another of his former teammates, Paul Pogba, to find form during the course of the season following his world-record move from Juventus to United over the summer. Pogba, 23, has failed to match fans' expectations since making the £89m ($115.5m) switch, but Nani believes the Frenchman has the necessary quality to be a success at Old Trafford.

"A lot of clubs wanted him, there were rumours that other clubs would get him," Nani said of his one-time United teammate. "When he went back I was happy. He knows the club well and will be a star at the club."

Rooney and Pogba are both available for selection for United's much-anticipated clash against current Premier League champions Leicester City at Old Trafford. United have lost their last two league games against Manchester City and Watford respectively, but will be desperate to return to winning ways against Claudio Ranieri's men.