Wayne Rooney believes it will be difficult to break his Manchester United scoring record

Manchester United needed a goal in the 89th minute at the Bet365 stadium to secure a draw against Stoke City after a difficult match. With hopes low and all cards played, the final chance of the match appeared to be a free kick from a tight angle on the left-wing.

Rooney, who had equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s scoring record with a half-volley in the FA Cup, usurped that goal with one of the free kicks of the season, curling the ball into the far top corner and becoming United’s greatest scorer of all time.

The goal will be remembered forever because of its quality and what it represents, and it was the perfect farewell for a Rooney that was declining and seemed open only to an Everton return. Now at Everton, he discusses the likelihood of his record being broken.

Rooney believes the odds are low because players in modern football rarely achieve the longevity that the former United and England captain achieved at Old Trafford. He also said that he’d never rule it out, though.

You never know, if they get someone like Messi or Ronaldo the record might get broken! But I think that in football now, players don’t really tend to stay at clubs for that long. The only way I can see it being ­broken is if someone stays for the same period of time that I did.”

Acknowledging the legacy that he left at United, Rooney also acknowledged that it was the correct time to move on with his career and return to Everton. He triumphed in every way possible at United, but he clearly feels the need to return to his boyhood club as his career winds down.

“It’s a great legacy to have left behind at United. I have got some great memories of a successful time for the club. It was great for me. I loved it there, loved working with the players, but it was the right time for me to move on and I feel I’ve certainly made the right decision.”

Rooney believes it would be difficult for a player to break his record unless they stayed at United as long as he did, which is a logically sound theory, but I believe there are three players currently at the club who could have a chance at breaking his record; Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and Romelu Lukaku.

Martial has the finishing and creative ability to develop into somewhat of a mix between Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo, a player who would undoubtedly score plenty of goals. Martial’s caveat is that, due in no small part to Rashford and Lukaku, he could play on the left-wing for most of his United career.

Rashford is also a contender to break Rooney’s record having already scored 19 goals for Manchester United at the age of 19. Assuming he plays at United until he’s 34, he would need to average 19 goals per season over the next 15 seasons, and if he plays until that age and spends his entire career at United, he’ll be one of the greatest players in club history anyways- it is unlikely. to say the least.

That leaves Lukaku, who hasn’t yet gotten started, but already looks capable of scoring 35 goals for United next season- he got 26 in 39 for Everton last season and should play 50 matches this time out. Averaging 35 goals per season, he would only need 8 seasons to break the record, which is achievable considering he is only 24.

However, any of these players would need to become a club legend, as Rooney is, to break his record, because it is simply spectacular. Very few strikers in the history of the game have found Rooney’s level of consistency for as long as he did, and while Martial, Rashford, and Lukaku could stand a chance, the odds are not in their favour.

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