Wayne Rooney seems to always divide opinion, be it from Manchester United fans or fans of other clubs, the record breaking forward from Liverpool is never far away from the spotlight. Media speculation is rife that United are omitting Rooney from their summer tour of the USA and that he is heading back to his boyhood club, Everton.
Pictures are circulating today of Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, stepping into Bill Kenwright’s London office. Bill Kenwright being the chairman of Everton football club. Now there is no smoke without fire, but we also know that papers and other media sources can make a mountain out of a mole hill.
So what next for Rooney and United?
Rooney is currently sitting on a tidy salary at Old Trafford and could no doubt provide a reasonable service, if required by Jose Mourinho. The performances in the last twelve months have left a little to be desired from the talismanic number ten. Passes which could easily be made have gone astray, lung busting runs up the pitch to fill the box, seem to have faded away, with them being laboured at best. Goals, although breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s long standing record this season, seem really hard to come by. A chance during the away game at Arsenal at the tail end of the season went begging for Rooney, in another season, he would of made the net bulge and United could of been leaving North London with all three points.
Lets not forget that Rooney is not only the record goalscorer for Manchester United but also for England. 253 goals scored during his time at United after Sir Alex had paid out around £25 million for an 18 year old, a then record for an under 20 player. Rooney has scored 53 goals for England to date, although is currently out of Gareth Southgate’s plans.
His honours at club level include five Premier League trophies, three League Cups, one FA Cup, one World Club Cup and four Charity Shields. Rooney has also been voted both Young Player of the season and Player of the season, to add to his individual honours. His over head bicycle kick at home to Manchester City. was also voted the goal of the season for 2010/11 and is always in the running for greatest of the Premier League era.
For all the good days that Rooney has had in a United shirt, and he’s had many, there is also the two occasions when submitting transfer requests, have over shadowed the Liverpudlians legacy. On both occasions, Sir Alex Ferguson was resigned to losing his star man yet both times Rooney would say he was leaving, only to do a u turn and sign a new mega bucks deal. Despite making a standing apology to his team mates at Carrington, certain sections of supporters, never quite forgave him for this act of betrayal, which unfortunately is becoming common practice amongst players.
For Manchester United though, where does this leave them? A massive Ibrahimovic shaped hole is already staring Mourinho straight in the face, and despite Rooney not being the 20 goal a season player he once was, would still be a huge miss to the squad in general. His experience and knowledge of the club would be second to none. Understandably, Rooney would not want to be a squad player and with his playing years winding down who could blame him. The fire which once made this United number 10 burn bright, seems to have dwindled down into a flickering light at best. A return to his first club could well re ignite that spark.
This summer currently sees the United squad numbers of 7, 9 and if Rooney departs, 10, all vacant. These numbers have been iconic over the years. To fill these would mean that maybe, just maybe, United are still set to do big business. Mourinho has not been famed for bringing through massive amounts of youth in one go. No ‘class of ’92 going on here. There is a plan, we just need to be patient and let it unfold.
Good luck Wayne, and thanks for the memories. The white Pele, we salute you. Roooooooney!