Meulensteen: Rooney is ambitious and will seek a new challenge


Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney seems to have fallen from grace over the last few seasons, breaking the goalscoring record set by Sir Bobby Charlton for both club and country over the past year, the player’s achievements seem to outweigh his ability on the pitch for his club right now. Rooney is a player who is just not doing what he used to do for the club. He has lost his instinct for a goal, the fire in his belly and the ability to see that he is no longer a player who offers as much as he used to. Rooney’s achievements at United are written in stone, winning nearly every major honour he could with the club, apart from the UEFA Super Cup, which shows how good both he and the club once were.

Over the past season, United won the FA Community Shield, the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League, lifting the Emirates FA Cup during the previous season, the most successful period after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. Rooney was more of a passenger for much of the season, scoring the odd goal, his last in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur – the last ever game played at White Hart Lane as we know it. That is a big fall from grace for the English forward. The fact that Zlatan Ibrahimovic proved to be a much better option, despite him being around five years older than Rooney was fitting.

The speculation linking Rooney with an Old Trafford exit this summer has been rife with Everton and Stoke City linked to the player also with possible moves to China or the MLS in the United States of America, there could be a new challenge coming his way. Rene Meulensteen, a former coach for United has stated that Rooney will need to decide what is best for him and his family as it will only become much clearer that he is a player that will be frozen out of first team action even more in the coming season. Meulensteen says Rooney is ambitious, which may be true, but his last few seasons don’t suggest ambition to me. Speaking exclusively to 888sport, Meulensteen said:

“Wayne Rooney has to decide what his best for him and his family and what they will be happy with. Whether that is accepting he is not first choice for Mourinho – will that make him content? I don’t think it will because Wayne is still a very ambitious guy. So, therefore, I think he will look at other options. Then he has to decide if he wants to stay in the Premier League and what sort of clubs play in a style that will suit him. Or does he go abroad and start a new adventure? Again it comes down to the family and what they’re happy with because he’s got Colleen and the kids. If that is the case it could be a good move for him because he will have a completely new environment, a new league, and could enjoy his football again. I think he might move. I think he’s looked at the picture and thought ‘let’s try something different’.”

Rooney needs a new adventure in his career. He should walk away from United this summer with his head held high knowing that he has won nearly every major honour aiming to do the same at a new club, in possibly a new league in a new country. That might be the best option for him, otherwise, he faces a big fight to get back into the swing of things at United. The club do not rely on Rooney now, there are more players who offer much more than the 31-year-old and instead of fading away at a club that pays him well, he should possible think in football first, be happy to play for any club who wants him, not using money as a motivational factor, which seems to be the case with rumours suggesting the player would expect United to pay his contract up if he was to leave, which would be like paying a £26 million transfer fee and getting nothing in return, which may actually be the same thing which could be on offer if Rooney stayed at Old Trafford until the end of his contract in the summer of 2019!

Read the full 888sport interview with Rene Meulensteen, including his thoughts on how Morata should be Mourinho’s top target this summer.

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