Wayne Rooney, Manchester United headed for a divorce
There’s no question Wayne Rooney is not the dominant player he once was.
The all-time leading scorer at Manchester United has become a legend in the club and is one of England’s finest. But when it comes to United boss Jose Mourinho, Rooney hasn’t been a name he’ll put on his team sheet every match. Rooney has made 17 appearances for United with 9 coming off the bench. He did not appear in Sunday’s English Football Lsague Cup win over Southampton but he did raise the trophy as captain.
Players young and old have been put ahead of him in the lineups. Wayne Rooney’s preferred positions are at striker and center to attacking midfield. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been excellent playing in the striker position, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial spending time in the role. In the midfield, players like Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Juan Mata have worked well as combinations with Ibrahimovic to form attacking partnerships. Rooney has been a second thought, with most of his appearances being in cup competitions or against low-level opponents in the Premier League.
A rumor over the previous weeks was that Manchester United had worked out a transfer with a Chinese team but Rooney released a statement affirming he will remain at Old Trafford. For how long, only Jose Mourinho knows. He’s continued to affirm Rooney has a role with the team but it has continued to diminish week after week. At only 31, any decline Rooney is on is still in its early stages. He’s proven he can be a formidable opponent who can pull out stunning goals. Against Stoke City, he scored a stunning free kick that gave him the all-time scoring record previously held by Sir Bobby Charlton.
China would be an option but Rooney can also consider two locations to play. Rooney started out at Everton before being transferred to Manchester United. Reuniting with the Toffees would be a poetic way for Rooney to go out but like United he may not find a place there. In his roles are striker Romelu Lukaku and midfielder Ross Barkley who are more dominant players. Rooney can only expect to come off the bench and start games of low significance, the same situation he’s in at United.
In the United States, Major League Soccer continues to rise in popularity. Rooney would be a starter on any team in the league. Being 31, he can still pace with the players MLS have to offer and he could make a huge contribution. Premier League legends like David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Didier Drogba found success in MLS in their tenures whether through trophies or enhancing the brand, club, or player profile in the United States.
Wayne Rooney will always go down as a Manchester United and English footballing legend but at the present time, Jose Mourinho and the powers that be that hired him will seek to move on from Wayne Rooney. It won’t be easy, and it’ll be a bittersweet departure which may come as soon as this summer. It’s not a matter of why, it’s only about when and where.
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Hailing from New York City from the borough of Brooklyn, Dillon is a die-hard New York sports fan. He currently resides in Upstate New York, where he studies at Wells College in Aurora, NY.
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