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Nobody seems to want Wayne Rooney anymore; here’s why

Manchester United captain, if you can call him that this coming season, Wayne Rooney could be an even more peripheral figure at the Old Trafford club next season. The vast differences between the player Sir Alex Ferguson signed back in 2004 and the modern-day player is now visible. Gone are the days Rooney was the first name on the team sheet and the player who could turn a loss into a win on the pitch. The days of Rooney having that vision to score some great goals has gone. His decline has happened very quickly that even a 42-year-old Paul Scholes during Michael Carrick’s testimonial would still be a better option for United going forward, even Clarence Seedorf, a player ten years senior to Rooney would be a better option.

During the 2016/17 season, Rooney made 25 starts for United, coming off the bench 14 times, the last time in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday 21st May 2017; Rooney scored eight goals throughout the entire season, playing a bit part role in Jose Mourinho’s first season at the club. Rooney, at the time Mourinho joined the club, was an important player according to the Portuguese manager, a player who would be played in at attacking role, not as a midfielder like his predecessor Louis van Gaal did through his second and final season at the Old Trafford club. Rooney seems to have lost his purpose, his hunger and more importantly his ability to be that goal scorer he once was. Many would think Rooney was older than he is.

It has been talked about for a long time that Rooney is a player Mourinho would happily sell this summer if only there was a buyer for him. Last summer and in the January transfer window, talk of Rooney going to China was rife, but with the new rules in which the Chinese government will charge a 100% tax on the transfer fee of a foreign player, Wayne Rooney has doubled his price in the Chinese Super League – that is not a good thing, it means that team interested in signing the player are no longer interested as with his wages on top of that, in effect, double fee, the initial outlay for the player would be more than he is worth. He may still be able to shine in China, being that the difference between that league and the Premier League is a massive gap.

Everton were one linked to Rooney with the player tipped to return to the club he left as an 18-year-old, seemingly seeing out the remainder of his playing career, but reports suggest that the player has even priced out a return to his beloved Goodison Park club, which is something rather telling. Stoke City were also credited with an interest in Rooney, but seemingly his wage demands would rule that move out too, leaving United with a player who literally offers nothing more than a bit part role, or a possible move abroad, if any club with more money than sense wanted to become involved in the tangled affair od luring the player to that club and league.

The Mirror state that United are not interested in finding a cut-price deal for the player to leave the Old Trafford club and Rooney has not received an offer which would be anywhere close to his reported £300,000 a week contract, which must be a warning sign for the player as interest in him being the new ‘number ten’ at another club just does not seem to be anywhere, meaning Rooney may have to stay at United, playing fewer matches, maybe not even getting on the bench, maybe not playing at all – which would see United having to pay the player for effectively nothing – something Rooney may actually like but that could ensure his England career will be over, if it is not already, meaning he will miss the FIFA World Cup in Russia, should England qualify.

What seems to be the main reason by Wayne Rooney is no longer that player any club would want in their team? Lack of footballing ability would be the main factor in any decision. Whilst Rooney may pull out all the stops to achieve should he leave United, gone are the days where he will be the star of the show. Seeing Rooney play as he had during the past season, in most of his appearances he became a liability on the pitch more often than not. Seeing Rooney on the edge of the box with the ball, a clear route to goal and the player knocking the ball wide to the left or the right only for a failed cross to be put into the box, that sort of thing annoys me. The instinct Rooney once had seems to have disappeared. Years ago he would have shot and scored a crucial goal.

The fact that Rooney is no longer the star at United, a player heading into a more peripheral figure as the weeks progress, it makes me wonder why he is unwilling to lower his wage demands if it meant he would be playing regular football, which is what most footballers want. Why is Rooney seemingly happy to sit on the sidelines, being paid a figure that would take the average man two years to earn, Rooney being paid that amount each week? It does not make me think the player is not greedy, in fact, it makes a perfect argument to suggest greed is what drives the player. Yes he was rewarded with a five-and-a-half-year contract in 2014 by David Moyes, which would keep him at the club until 2019, with an option of another year, but if you are done, you are done, right?

Surely playing at the highest level you are able to play at, regularly, would be more than sitting in the stands or even on the bench earning a massive amount of money? If I was a footballer, I would rather play the game than sit and watch it. When Zlatan Ibrahimovic injured his knee in April, there was a rumour that United offered him an extra year at the time, to soften the blow of him not being able to play, also giving the prolific Swede a place to overcome that injury, but reports said the player rejected the contract offer as ‘it would not be right’, him not playing but getting paid. Why does Rooney seem to be a player that would rather have the money over the chance to play? That does not sit right with me right now. Greed seems to be the main direction, rather than playing.

I am sure many will suggest I am a Rooney hater or a supporter who is jealous of Rooney. Not at all. I applaud Wayne Rooney for his achievements at Manchester United and even for England, being Welsh, but the one thing that irks me is the fact he knows his position at the club is seemingly out of the window, a 35-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed him up last season and should United sign Alvaro Morata, or even another striker, that will effectively seal his fate in that a bit-part role or a lesser one will be his only option at Manchester United. Why not show a lack of greed, accept a pay cut – if that meant he would play more football, surely it would be more beneficial? The end at the top has to come at some point and the signs are showing him just that.

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