Is Wayne Rooney’s plight ultimately a blessing in disguise?

Manchester United striker Wayne RooneyThis weekend we discovered that Wayne Rooney’s ankle injury was causing the Manchester United striker more hassle than we originally thought. Sir Alex Ferguson told the Sunday Express: “I think Wayne will be out for another five weeks, He will have to pick up his fitness again. I would think five weeks should be about right.” It was originally hoped that Wayne would be back in the space of three weeks and fingers were crossed that he’d be back in time for the Manchester Derby on 10 November. The chances of this happening now are nil.

Now of course there’ll be those who are wondering if something fishy is going on here. Is Sir Alex taking his revenge for Rooney holding his club to ransom during his transfer negotiations? Is the injury quite as bad as reported? Since we’re not likely to find out, it’s more important to focus on the implications, of the news, which I believe could be quite positive for Manchester United.

It’s never a good thing to have one of your best players out injured, but nonetheless, Wayne Rooney hasn’t exactly convinced on or off the pitch this year. He has, let’s face it, been a rather disruptive influence at Old Trafford. It’s unlikely that Manchester United will miss Rooney over the next month or so, since they have two on form strikers currently banging in the goals. One of them is a man everybody had written off and the other is a youngster nobody expected to be so effective so early on in his career.

Berbatov has scored an impressive 7 goals in 12 games so far this season. If he continues at this rate, then this’ll likely be his best season for Manchester United to date (not that this is too hard a feat). Regardless, it’s been a fine start to the season for the dilatory Bulgarian.

More impressive still has been Hernández’s start to the season. Despite his being new to English football, the prodigious Mexican has scored 6 goals in 12 appearances. He’s fast earning a reputation as a quick-footed, assured young striker with an eye for goal.

Whether or not they can keep up their form is another question entirely. For now, it’s interesting to see these two players develop and if they continue to carry the mantle then who knows what will happen when Rooney returns. It’s likely that he’ll slot back in, but if he doesn’t find his form soon and he has these two players breathing down his neck, things might get a little difficult for Wayne Rooney. As things stand, having three viable striking options isn’t a bad situation for Manchester United to be in at all.

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