Bryan Robson believes Wayne Rooney will be remembered as a Manchester United great, but only once the forward retires.
With 250 goals, Rooney has surpassed Bobby Charlton as the top goalscorer in the Premier League club's history.
The England captain is also a five-time league champion and Champions League winner, as well as his nation's all-time leading goalscorer.
Robson, considered a United great, said the 31-year-old would have to wait to receive the plaudits he deserves.
"Wayne to break the records that he has broken at international level and at Manchester United, you have to be a special talent," he said.
"I don't think people are putting him up there with the greats at United but that's what happens when you're still playing.
"He's been in and out of the team but for me when he retires in years to come, people will call him a great player.
"He will get that status but when a player is still playing they don't get the accolades that they should get."
Rooney has been linked with a move to China as he struggles for regular game time under Jose Mourinho.
He has made 17 Premier League appearances this season, but only eight of those have been starts.