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Idols: Wayne Rooney Captain, Leader, Legend

On the 31 August 2004, Manchester United signed 18-year-old Wayne Rooney from Everton in a deal worth £27 million. Throughout the month, Everton received an offer of £20 million from Newcastle United after Rooney rejected a new contract worth £50,000 per week. He also handed in a transfer request two leave Goodison Park. United had paid the highest transfer fee at the time for a player under the age of 20. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson knew the type of player Rooney could become after his exploits with Everton. Since emerging as a 16-year-old, scoring 17 goals in 77 appearances before leaving for United.

Rooney had become now of the most sought-after players in Europe following his two seasons at Everton. Also having a starring role for England at Euro 2004, in which he scored four goals, matching new United teammate Ruud van Nistelrooy’s efforts for the Netherlands. Perhaps Ferguson knew what Rooney could achieve at United? If he continued to work hard and develop. The legend would spend 13 seasons at United and win all the major honours at the club, helping United to reach the pinnacle of European football once again under the reign of Ferguson, who did so for the second time in his career.

Rooney made a total of 559 appearances for United, scoring 253 goals and 146 assists. This meant that he offered a goal every 2.21 matches and a goal contribution every 1.40 matches. Rooney had a hand in 399 goals for United, which is a great figure for a player that really played in quite a few roles at the club. He played the main striking position. Also as a second striker, attacking midfielder, a winger. He even played as a defensive midfield at the end of his career. Rooney offered everything he has for much of his United career, keeping United ticking and earning the plaudits. Rooney also played 12 matches for England, scoring 53 goals.

Coming to United as a player with lots of talent.

In his first season at United, Rooney showed what he could become. On his debut for the club, against Fenerbahce in the UEFA Champions League, Rooney scored his first hat-trick for the club as United beat the Turkish club 6-2, scoring 17 goals and six assists in 43 appearances. Rooney averaged 19.46 goals for the club each season and regularly hit around the 20 goal mark each season. During two seasons (2009/10 and 2011/12) he scored 34 goals for the club. In his final season at the club (2016/17) he scored just eight goals for the club. In total, he scored eight hat-tricks for United, scoring four goals in one match, which showed his ability.

His hat-trick against Fenerbahce will be special as it was his first at United, on his debut and playing in the Champions League. He also scored hat-tricks against Bolton Wanderers (twice), and Portsmouth in the Premier League. Two other special ones will be prevalent though; the one against West Ham United on the 2 April 2011 and the one against Arsenal on the 28 August 2011 as United beat the North London club 8-2. Rooney was known for driving the mentality of the club forward, always wanting to win and win trophies. In the summer of 2010, a certain transfer request from Rooney could have chanced everything.

Rooney was being linked to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City. He said it was never an option to sign for City and he would have chose Barcelona over Real Madrid. But the Madrid club were the likely destination. Of course, he never left United, signed a new number contract at the club and continued his career. As Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012/13 season, he confirmed that Rooney had handed in a transfer request once again. David Moyes, Rooney’s former manager at Everton would need to solve that problem. Rooney was sold to Everton in the summer of 2017 just after Jose Mourinho’s first season at the club.

Chasing the clubs goalscoring record and moving on.

At United, Rooney was chasing the goalscoring record set by the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton. He scored 249 goals for United in 758 appearances. Rooney broke that record by scoring his 250th goal in January 2017, scoring three more goals for the club before leaving United. Rooney also broke Charlton’s record for England too, having scored 49 goals in 106 appearances with Rooney scored 53 goals in 120 appearances. He broke the record in 2015. Rooney was a player that craved success and guided United to many trophies with his teammates. His goals were something that helped United massively along the way plus his desire to win.

Rooney won five Premier League titles at United. He also won one FA Cup, three League Cups, and four FA Community Shields. The UEFA Champions League (playing in three finals), one UEFA Europa League and one FIFA Club World Cup were the cream of the crop. Rooney captained United taking over from Nemanja Vidic in 2014, handing the captaincy over to Michael Carrick in 2017. Since his departure, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young (who have both left) and Harry Maguire have captained the club. Rooney may be a distant memory for United now, a player that has played a part in the clubs history but he will always be remembered.

After United, Rooney went back to boyhood club Everton, staying at the club for one season before heading to the MLS in the United States of America. He played for DC United and scored 25 goals and 14 assists in 52 appearances. Rooney then returned to England signing for Championship club Derby County in 2019. He was eligible to play for the club from the 2019/20 season. He is currently the manager of the club. In the future the name Rooney might be heard against at United again as the club signed 11-year-old Kai Rooney last month, for the clubs academy. He will be sure to keep the family name alive at the club, providing he makes it there.

Written by John Walker

Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez: Once Manchester United’s lethal attacking trio

Cristiano Ronaldo the man who has done it all, Wayne Rooney the legend and Carlos Tevez, the controversial yet versatile striker. These three players were a part of something majestic at Manchester United as they dominated European football from 2007 to 2009.  When you remember these players, you recall the days when Manchester United had a fear factor about them.

The opposition knew what they were about before every game. But guess what? You could not stop them as they were lethal in every way, as such they hurt teams with their world-class ability. Thus, throughout this literature crafted with the utmost finesse, I will be explaining why these three players should be considered one of the best attacking trio Manchester United ever had.

Who is Cristiano Ronaldo? Well, that is like asking who the Queen is for football fans across the globe. The man who is on the mountain looking down on all others, the kid who Sir Alex Ferguson signed in 2003, the Manchester United Legend. Whatever he may be in your eyes nothing beats the fact that he is one of the best players who have ever graced the game of football. George Best once said about Cristiano Ronaldo;

“There have been a few players described as ‘the new George Best’ over the years, but this is the first time it’s been a compliment to me.”

In 2008 while at Manchester United Ronaldo won the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the first time crowning him the best player on the planet at the time. In addition, in his tenure at United; he scored 118 goals in 292 appearances in the process becoming somewhat of a folklore for Manchester United, as no one forgot that night in Moscow.

In steps the man they call ‘Wazza’ known to many as Wayne Rooney. What can I say about this man? I mean he has earned his spot apart of the three-headed dragon and as a Manchester United legend. When Rooney his not scoring otherworldly goals, he can be seen tearing up the Premier League and finally destroying Arsenal as usual. As the day he caught the eye of football supporters was when he ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run with an absolute gem of a goal. Apart from

Apart from being the all-time leading goal scorer for Manchester United with 253 goals in 559 appearances Rooney not only scores goals as a striker, but his expert passing ability coupled with his vision added dynamism to the Manchester United attack. I mean I know every Manchester United supporter remembers his bicycle kick against Manchester City as Martin Tyler said, “It defies description”. All good things must come to an end, but never will the legacy be forgotten.

Carlos Tevez one of the most controversial players in football but also one of the most talented. Tevez to Manchester United fans will be viewed as a good player who contributed his part to the past success of the club. How do I view Carlos Tevez? I see him as the gutsy one in the trio, the one who is most adaptable, the most aggressive and that my friend is a nightmare for defenders. No defender enjoys facing a tenacious striker who is like a Viking who fights to the death.

In his time at United, he scored 34 goals in 99 appearances, but it was the importance of Tevez goals that made him a very important player for Sir Alex Ferguson. To jog your memory Tevez produced a moment of magic on April 19, 2008 when Manchester United were behind and slowly losing grip on the title race to Chelsea, Carlos Tevez met Scholes’ flicked header and beat Brad Friedel, who was in Godly form on the day to keep United kicking in the hunt for the title.  Carlos Tevez or as I call him the ‘Red Viking’ as he is a warrior on the football pitch.

The most beautiful thing was seeing these three football geniuses playing together. It was the interchanging of positions between Rooney, Tevez, and Ronaldo that made the trio not only spectacular on the eye but devastating in front of goal. Every United fan remembers the 2007-08 season when these three players conquered Europe and planted the United flag in Moscow as an Astronaut would do as he landed on the moon. Who was the striker at the time? No one!

It was more like a dragon with three heads attacking from every angle and all the heads were just as lethal. This trio style of play was not like the old-fashioned structured style of play, it was more fluid where players were given more creative freedom to attack and show their hidden talents. What happens when you give geniuses tools to boost their work? It makes them more effective, more efficient and in turn, it helps make whatever process you are doing way easier.

That is what happened when Sir Alex Ferguson crafted a formation to suit these three players to express themselves, and might I say that is the roots United need to go back to if they want to be the feared Manchester United from the past. In their time at United, these players brought back the Champions league to Manchester, won back to back Premier League titles and the FIFA Club World Cup amongst other honours.

Also, not to forget but they scored goals upon goals throughout their partnership. In the end, will we ever see another trio like Rooney, Tevez, and Ronaldo?

Written by Ricardo Edwards

Wayne Rooney returns to Everton after 13 years of being a Red Devil

Wayne Rooney has left Manchester United after 13 years with the Old Trafford club. After playing a total of 559 competitive matches and breaking the club goalscoring record previously set by Sir Bobby Charlton with Rooney scoring 253 goals, four more than the legendary Charlton, also breaking the goalscoring record for England, again beating that by four goals, Rooney has done his stuff on the pitch. Rooney last played for Everton, competitively at least during the 2003/04 season, his second season in the first team at the club making 77 appearances and scoring 17 goals. Whilst playing for both clubs, Rooney had made a total of 450 Premier League appearances, scoring 198 goals, with Rooney the second-highest Premier League scorer of all time, 62 goals shy of Alan Shearer’s 260 goal haul, which Rooney could achieve at Everton, should he find his form again.

At United Rooney became a champion lifting the Premier League title five times, the FA Community Shield four times, the League Cup three times, and the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup, the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League all once a piece. Rooney really did it all at Manchester United and will be remembered for that. During the past few seasons, he was not the best player on the pitch and took that in his stride last season and still did his part, when he was called up without moaning, which shows his character. He will have been frustrated, but in public at least, he did not show it, he dug deep and got on with it.

United manager Jose Mourinho paid tribute to Rooney on his departure to boyhood club Everton with the official Manchester United website confirming the Portuguese manager as saying:

“It is no secret that I have long been an admirer of Wayne; he has been a model professional throughout his time at the club and will remain in the history books for many years to come. It is never easy to see a great player playing less football than he would like and I could not stand in his way when he asked to go back to Everton. His experience, focus and determination will be missed and I wish him well for the future.”

United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward also spoke about Rooney’s departure, saying:

“Wayne has been a fantastic servant to United since the moment he signed for us as a prodigiously talented, explosive teenager some 13 seasons ago. Who can forget his storybook debut hat-trick against Fenerbahce, the spectacular overhead kick against City and the countless match-winning performances in his time here? But after much discussion, the club has decided to accept his request to rejoin his boyhood team.

“He goes having created some of the most magical moments in some of the most successful years in the club’s history. Wayne leaves us as our greatest ever goalscorer and having won every major trophy in the game. His record will take decades for anyone to get close to matching and I am extremely grateful for the way he has led from the front since being appointed club captain three years ago. On behalf of the whole club and our hundreds of millions of fans around the world, we wish Wayne all the very best for the next phase of his incredible career.”

Speaking to Everton TV and reported by the official Everton website, Rooney spoke about his return to Goodison Park, saying:

“(Winning trophies with Everton) would be the pinnacle. I really feel now the Club is moving in the right direction, bringing the right calibre of players in. I want to be part of it and hopefully part of a successful Everton team.

“It’s a great feeling to be back. I’m excited, I cannot wait to meet the lads, get on the training pitch and then get on the pitch to play. I’m ecstatic – I just cannot wait to get back playing.

“I’m excited, and I’m excited by the signings that the Club have made. This club is moving forward. This football club should be winning trophies and we’re taking huge steps to being involved and trying to win trophies.

“The first game back will be an emotional day for me and I’m looking forward to it. I’m not just coming back because it’s the team I support, the team I grew up playing for – I’m coming back because I feel the Club can move forward and be successful. I want to be part of it. There will be pressure on me to perform, but I’m ready to go. I believe I can help move this club forward and be more successful on the pitch.

“With the new stadium in the pipeline, it’s an exciting time to be an Everton player, to be an Everton fan. It’s on us players to make those times even more exciting by giving them good performances and try to help them be successful and bring trophies to the Club.”

We wish Rooney the best of luck at Everton and look forward to seeing him return to Old Trafford on Sunday 17th September 2017 in the first Premier League match between the two clubs since Rooney’s departure, which could also be the first match for Romelu Lukaku against his former club. One to salivate maybe?

Wayne Rooney agrees Everton return

Manchester United captain, probably the last time this term can be used, has agreed terms with Everton according to reports by The Mirror. The report suggests that United and Everton agreed on the deal on Friday and Rooney signed personal terms on the deal meaning his return to Goodison Park is merely a formality, should these reports be true, of course. Rooney left Everton for United in the summer of 2004, making his debut in September against Fenerbahce in the UEFA Champions League, announcing himself on the European stage by scoring a hat-trick. Thirteen years later, Rooney had made 559 appearances for United, scoring 253 goals, a club record.

Rooney broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s 249 goal haul for the club and his 49 goal haul for England over the past year, also scoring 53 goals for England beating both records by four goals. It was a fitting ending at the Theatre of Dreams for Rooney, who had won every major honour with the club during his time, adding the elusive FA Cup in 2016 and the UEFA Europa League trophy in May. Rooney has not won the UEFA Super Cup and he may not. United will go head to head with Real Madrid, the UEFA Champions League holders to contest the trophy in Macedonia in August, it being the first competitive match since Rooney left United, the first of a new era.

It will be sad to see Rooney leave, based on his glories with the club, not his current offering which is one of the reasons he has been effectively shut out of the club playing a peripheral role. His last competitive appearance will have been his cameo in Stockholm at the end of the UEFA Europa League final in which United beat Ajax 2-0 – Rooney then went on to lift the Cup, his final time as a United player. Rooney’s last Old Trafford appearance, for United anyway, came in Michael Carrick’s testimonial with the score 2-2 and Rooney upstaged by Clarence Seedorf, a player ten years his senior. Rooney will be missed for what he could have become – being younger than Cristiano Ronaldo, the difference between the two players is widely shown.

Rooney was tipped to leave United this summer with China, the MLS, Stoke City and Everton after him. The 100% tax rule in China saw clubs avert their attention elsewhere and with Rooney suggesting he would not play for another Premier League club, Stoke City were seemingly out of the window. That left Everton and the MLS, of which the former won the face for the former Evertonian. Rooney will be worshipped at Goodison Park and seems determined to turn his flagging career around also intent on earning a place on the England squad who seem determined to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Russia next summer. Rooney might be able to turn his career around, playing for a club with lower ambitions and pushing for a Europa League group stage place.

There are reports that Rooney’s move back to Everton will be finalised on Saturday morning which could be something or nothing. This will be the end of an era for Manchester United and the beginning of a new one.

Wayne Rooney believes Everton move could resurrect his England career

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney believes a move back to boyhood club Everton could help him win back his place in the England squad ahead of next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, providing England can qualify which is looking good at this moment in time. The Mirror have reported that Rooney has now set his heart on ‘an emotional return’ to Goodison Park this summer, also stating that the move could be completed inside the next two days, which may or may not happen. I am sure United would not want to take him on their pre-season tour of the United States of America this summer, only for him to leave the training camp to head back to England to complete the transfer.

Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford met Bill Kenwright in London on Wednesday which is now, reportedly, being finalised. Rooney could sign a two or three-year contract at Everton, which could also see him ending his playing career at the club. Rooney lost his place in the England squad, also the captaincy earlier this year but the player has not closed the door on his international career just yet. The fact that Rooney has been a peripheral figure at United is one of the reasons being England dropping him, his form when he did play being the other. Despite breaking the records set by Sir Bobby Charlton for both England and United, Rooney did not actually offer all that much to either when he did play. The player has let himself, United and England down and only he can change that.

It was reported on Thursday morning that United had agreed a £75 million deal with Everton for striker Romelu Lukaku, which will be treated as a separate transfer to that of Rooney. It would seem that the Blue side of Merseyside will swap and up and coming striker and some money for Rooney, figuratively speaking, which is a great deal for United, not so great for Everton who have got by since Rooney left the club 13 years ago. Rooney’s signing could bring in commercial revenue for Everton, also make them money on shirt sales as I am sure many will be excited to see the former star back at the club, even if he is past his best and heading into the twilight years of his career – he could surprise many and find himself again, who knows?

The Daily Mail have also reported on Rooney’s return to Goodison Park suggesting that United have waived a transfer fee, which may have been as much as £10 million for the player to leave the Old Trafford club.  It is suggested that Rooney has dropped his wage demands, settling on around £150,000 a week, which is somewhat smaller that the wage he was on at United, supposed to be between £250,000 and £300,000, which may include image rights also. Rooney was tipped to leave the Theatre of Dreams this summer with options in China, the United States of America and the Premier League, Everton and Stoke City. The player did say he would not play for another Premier League side, ruling out Stoke which seemed to suggest Everton would be an option.

Rooney’s departure will be sad based on what he achieved at the club, becoming the top scorer in the club’s history with 253 goals in all competitions and winning all major honours available, if you don’t include the likes of the UEFA Super Cup, which United played in after winning the UEFA Champions League in 2008, losing to Zenit Saint-Petersburg. Rooney won the Emirates FA Cup at the end of the 2015/16 season, the only trophy, other than the UEFA Europa League, which he had not won during his time at United, helping to win that this season with a 2-0 victory over Ajax in Stockholm, of which he played the last few minutes, seemingly his last big game on the Manchester United stage.

Michael Carrick is the new Manchester United captain – reports

Michael Carrick is the new Manchester United captain according to reports from The Sun journalist Neil Custis. This is obviously based on the fact Wayne Rooney returns to Everton this summer, which with the fact Everton have accepted a £75 million bid for Romelu Lukaku ahead of a summer move to the Old Trafford club. There have been various reports suggesting Rooney’s departure, which seemed to heat up over the past few days with the move possibly being complete before United head on their pre-season tour of the United States of America on Sunday, boarding a flight to Los Angeles where they will play LA Galaxy less than a week later.

35-year-old Carrick signed a new one-year contract extension earlier in the summer, shortly before his testimonial against the Michael Carrick All-Stars on the 4th June which ended in a 2-2 draw with the man of the moment scoring the equaliser for his Manchester United 2008 squad. Carrick was the vice-captain last season, wearing the armband on numerous occasions. He will be the club’s longest-serving player, which would only be fitting that he became the captain, if only for the upcoming season. Ander Herrera will reportedly be the vice-captain, which will placate some who feel he deserved the recognition but the player himself did play down calls to install him as the club’s captain in the past few months.

This will be a new generation for Manchester United with significant changes being made in just over a year, which should really set the club up for the future, not only being stable but hopefully challenging for more trophies, starting with a challenge for the Premier League title this coming season with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal in United’s way after their sixth placed finish last season. The impending departure of Rooney will be a sad occasion, not based on the fact the player if a peripheral figure at the club, nor for the fact he seems to have lost his striker’s instinct but for the fact he has achieved so much at the Theatre of Dreams during his 13-year career, which is where the sadness comes from.

Jose Mourinho seems to have recognised the need for a strong captain and his choice of Carrick, should these reports actually be true, stranger things have happened, suggest that he is doing just that, also showing good signs for the future with Herrera being selected as the vice-captain. Herrera has one year left on his contract, which he signed when he arrived at the club in 2014, also having the option of an extra year to be added on, so it could also be the time whereby United secure the Spanish midfielder to a new contract, which must be in the process of being done with him seemingly being chosen as the vice-captain, which would be great news.

Carrick and maybe Herrera should don the captain’s armband on the pre-season tour if Rooney’s departure happens before Sunday, or is much closer to happening, which means he will not be part of the travelling squad ahead of a season full of big changes. United will face LA Galaxy on Saturday 15th July 2017, the early hours of Sunday in the UK before taking on Real Salt Lake on Monday 17th July, the early hours of Tuesday in the UK. United will then be involved in the International Champions Cup facing Manchester City on the 20th July, 21st in the UK before then taking on Real Madrid on the 23rd July, the only match to be shown at a more convenient time throughout the USA Tour. Barcelona will be the final opposition in the US, played on the 26th July, half an hour after midnight on the 27th in the UK.

Wayne Rooney to return to Everton before the end of the week – reports

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is set to make a sensational return to Everton this week, ending his career at the Old Trafford club according to reports by Neil Custis of The Sun. It was earlier suggested that Rooney was part of the squad which would fly our to Los Angeles on Sunday to prepare for United’s pre-season tour of the United States of America, which now seems to be no longer be the case. Custis’ report suggests a deal is all but done, which figuratively speaking suggests the deal is not actually done, but we know this is a term to suggest something could well be imminent. This makes me happy and sad at the same time, for different reasons though.

Rooney scored 253 goals for United during his 13-year career at the Theatre of Dreams. His very first competitive match for the club ended up with him scoring a hat-trick, showing just why Sir Alex Ferguson signed the striker, who became one of the best players at the club for maybe a decade, give or take a year or two. There was speculation at the end of the season as to whether Rooney had played his last game for the club, coming on in the final stages of the UEFA Europa League final in which United beat Ajax 2-0 to lift the trophy, the only major honour United had not won in their illustrious history. That was not his final game though, it was his appearance in Michael Carrick’s testimonial at the start of June, in which the player had a shocking performance.

Rooney has been linked to the Chinese Super League, Major League Soccer and Everton, whilst also being wanted by Stoke City, a move with was seemingly rejected with the player himself saying that he would only play for two Premier League clubs, the only two he has played for; Manchester United and Everton. Over the last few days, talk of a move up the M62 has been talked up, which was seemingly ruled out weeks ago. At the end of the season Rooney did say he had a number of offers to talk through, presumably from those mentioned above and it would seem that his mind may well and truly be made up with a return to the club he first appeared on the Premier League stage as a 16-year-old, the rest being history.

There is also a suggestion that Everton are looking to bring Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud to the Goodison Park club this summer with it being speculated that Rooney will play the number ten role, a role he has favoured throughout his career with the Frenchman playing in the number nine position, which could be something to get the Blue side of Liverpool above the Red side of the city, which would frustrate many of the latter colour, no doubt the Red side would dismiss this being that it has got to be Liverpool’s year again, for what, the 28th time in a row! Many will be wondering how this would work with Rooney being under contract at United, reportedly, the Old Trafford club would be prepared to let the 31-year-old leave on a free.

Everton will pick up the player’s £250,000 a week wage, which will surely break the club’s wage threshold, but being under new ownership, the glass ceiling implemented at the club can be broken, especially if there is a chance the club could become that much better, pushing themselves into the top six of seven clubs in the Premier League table, looking to maintain their improvement and aim to break into the top four, which would be best not to be achieved too quickly as it will be a tough position to maintain continually, looking at United’s last four seasons should demonstrate that severely. There will be a condition from United though and that would be that Rooney does not ask for his remaining two years to be paid up by the club.

It is all fair in love and war and at the end of the day, United will be losing out on a transfer fee, so allowing Rooney to go to a club whereby he will be able to play, as at United he will remain a peripheral figure, should be the best option for the player. Everton will keep him on the same or similar wages, so what is there to lose? Do you decide to stay where the money is and lose yourself even more as a player fighting for what is not going to come, or do you head to a lower level club, where you will be the best player in the team, where you are loved for ‘being a blue’, earning a similar amount of money but more importantly playing the game you love. It just does not take too long to decide, does it?

Wayne Rooney showing his greed or is it what he’s entitled to do?

The decline of Wayne Rooney has been seen for the past few years with last season showing just what the player is not capable of anymore. Yes, Rooney is Manchester United top scorer and has achieved the same for England, but forgive me if I say that does not define him right now. Over the years, Rooney has been a great player, but right now, he seems to be hanging on for what he can get, not what he can give to United, his teammates and more importantly, his manager – Jose Mourinho. Rooney is left waiting for a chance to get onto the pitch to show us all what he cannot do anymore, and that is becoming tedious, to say the least.

The Sun reports that United have offered Rooney £10 million to leave the Theatre of Dreams this summer, instead, Rooney seems certain to remain at the club in order to earn £300,000 per week, which forgive me if I am wrong suggests that money is worth more to him than leaving the club to actually play football. Surely at 31 with your best years behind you, playing guaranteed football at a smaller club would be better than holding onto a place in a team whereby you are not the star anymore, stopping talented players from coming through the ranks and earning their chance to play for Manchester United? Rooney seems to be there for the money, and that alone. The days of him rescuing United from the clutches of a defeat are long gone.

There is a misunderstanding with Rooney’s contract, some say he has a year left, some say he has two years left. There is talk of a year to be added on, which would turn one year into two, but no confirmation of that actually being the case. Rooney’s last contract was signed in February 2014 with the BBC reporting the player had signed a five-and-a-half-year contract, which at the time would take him to the summer of 2019. United also confirmed that Rooney had signed a contract extension, also stating that the player is committed to the club until the end of June 2019, which gives him two years left on his contract. The Guardian reported back in November that Rooney intends to see out his contract, which expires in 2019, also confirming that the player has two years remaining.

I am not sure journalists do their research anymore, which seems to be the main reason for the miscommunication of Rooney’s contract. Signing a contract extension would suggest that the period of the new contract would be added to what was remaining, hence the word extension. This would mean that Rooney could be in the United squad for another two seasons, which is a thrilling prospect to think about. Imagine the decline in two years based on his decline over the past two years. Him commanding a place in the squad is going to end careers of players who have not even had the chance to prove themselves yet. That is going to cost the club something in the years to come. Rooney needs to accept he is no longer the main man, accept that many want him gone and accept that the club needs to move on. If he loses money over that, boo hoo. He’s got enough.

Rooney needs to accept he is no longer the main man, accept that many want him gone and accept that the club needs to move on. If he loses money over that, boo hoo. He’s got enough. Perhaps the fact that Rooney wants to stay is down to the fact nobody wants him. Everton seem to have cooled their interest in the player, Stoke City were interested but Rooney had previously ruled out playing for another Premier League club, MLS clubs seem to be uninterested and the Chinese Super League now have a 100% tax on foreign players, meaning of Rooney cost a Chinese club £50 million, he would cost £100 million in total and therefore not worth the cost, let alone the amount of wages he would demand – which would scupper that completely. Maybe he has to stay as nobody wants him!

Perhaps Rooney wants to fight for his place this summer. He has been training this summer and there have been endless reports of him preparing for the new season earlier than would be expected – perhaps he wants to prove his doubters wrong, and he needs to accept that there are many of them now. Still, saying that, if he can bring something to the table next season, he might offer something against the lower placed clubs in the Premier League, possibly even playing in the domestic cup competitions, but gone are the days he will be leading the team out in the UEFA Champions League, hopefully anyway. United return to training on Saturday 8th July 2017 before flying to Los Angeles the next day to prepare for the pre-season tour, perhaps Rooney will be left behind?

Whatever happens, Rooney will need to do what is right in footballing terms, not in monetary terms. If he is not going to be a player deemed as highly as others, this will need to be relayed to him. Granted he has not moaned at his lack of inclusion over the past season, playing a bit-part role at United, which is admirable, but the reports coming out in the media, which portray him as the greedy Wayne Rooney is not something to be proud of either. Every dog has their day and it is looking more and more each day that Rooney has had his. If he can pull some form together, show what he can bring to the team, he might prolong his time at United, but if he is a letdown, like last season, I am not sure he will be missed.

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.

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.

copyright: JW