Wayne Rooney has been at Manchester United for 12 years and is the longest-serving player in the current squad. But at the age of 31 has the club captain still got it in him to help the squad to the best of his ability? What will his next move be?
Rooney is on the brink of breaking United’s all-time scoring record currently held by Sir Bobby Charlton, what would be the best move for him and the club?
He has had some fantastic moments in a red shirt like his overhead kick against Manchester City or his thunderous volley against Newcastle United are some of the moments that come to mind, but is he the reason the current squad is being held back?
Over the past few seasons Rooney has lost some aspects of his game which would have been one of the main weapons in his arsenal during past season. One which comes to mind is his burst of pace. As he has got older he has developed his game to try and fit into the squad, he has mainly done this by moving back into the midfield. He has developed aspects of his game like passing and vision which are vital to this position, in doing this proving he wants to be in the first team squad. But with the competition for places becoming fierce with the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata taking up the midfield spots often, is his best move to sit on the bench and wait for his chance or move away from the club.
Personally, I would like to see Rooney stay with the club unlike many other fans. I feel he still has something to offer to the first team. As captain of the club he is a leader for the team and the players trust and listen to him. He can drive the club back into a fight for the league title. He can also help the younger players at the club develop and grow. This would be a huge benefit to the team. Something which is vitally important at the moment is goals. Zlatan Ibrahimović is currently the top scorer this season and I believe that Rooney can help him by assisting him and also chipping in with some goals of his own. He currently has three goals and nine assists in all competitions this season proving this point.
I believe he is a great example on the pitch for the younger players at the club as he has stayed and fought for his place in the squad and he hasn’t let a drop-in form stop him from breaking into the squad again. This is a trait which players like Marcus Rashford can pick up and develop as a player.
However, Rooney has hit a stage in his career where more often than not he has to settle for a place on the bench. He may be happy to sit there for now but he may grow frustrated and look at a move away. Everton have recently looked very interested in re-signing Rooney. But would keeping him at the top-level of English football could be the best thing for him.
Another transfer which has recently come around is moving to the United States of America or China. The big money invested in the new leagues may appeal to the England captain as he plays out the final few seasons of his career. Players like Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have recently had spells in the States with varying success. Premier League players like Oscar are swapping the top-level of English football for the Chinese Super League, could we see Rooney follow suit in the next few seasons? But as captain of his country would that be the best option for his international career?
There are a few factors which the player himself would have to evaluate before making the next move in his career. For example would a move to China or America be the best for his family and his international career?
Personally, I would like Rooney to stay at the club whether it be as a player or as staff later on in his career. He has done a lot for the club during his 12 years at Old Trafford whether that be scoring last gasp winners or setting them up. In my eyes if he finishes his career at the Theatre of Dreams, he will be a club legend. Hopefully, he can stay at the club and help bring back the glory days he once was a part of and continue to add to his impressive goal tally. Hopefully, the fans will see the Englishman lift the Premier League trophy again some time soon.
Written by Adam Harrison