It’s been a difficult season for Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, with new boss Jose Mourinho continuously overlooking the club’s long-server and Rooney’s chances with England have taken a hit as a result.
No longer the world-class striker he used to be, Rooney has seen options with both club and country limited due to the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, whilst the former Everton man also now plays more regularly in a deeper position.
The problem there, though, is Rooney has struggled to prove his worth in those areas and there is still better options available for both Mourinho and England’s interim boss Gareth Southgate, which has led to questions about England’s all-time leading goalscorer’s future.
Former England and Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer has advised Rooney to leave United, when writing in his column for The Sun, pointing to now MLS-based duo Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard as examples of making the right choice…
“Nobody wants to be sat on the bench or up in the stands when they feel fit enough to still play. For me, Rooney is someone who has to be playing. He is not an impact sub, a one-game-in-four player, or someone for those League Cup games. He needs to be out there week in, week out.
“Yet it seems that is not going to be the case now at Manchester United. His days as their out-and-out striker have been gone for some time now. There are so many options for boss Jose Mourinho, who still seems to be grappling with which one is best.
“But what is clear is that Rooney is not coming into the equation. Not even playing in a deeper role in front of the back four.”
A move to the MLS or China seems the most likely option for Rooney, although both would hinder his chances with England and may see him overlooked for the 2018 World Cup in Russia – a tournament Rooney aspires to feature in before retiring.
Still 31, Rooney has a number of years left in his career but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that he will not end his career with Manchester United.