This summer has been full of transfer sagas, and to the relief of most the closure of the transfer window has finally drawn a line in the sand under most of them. However Wayne Rooney’s protracted flirtations with other clubs is an issue that won’t go away, and for fans of English football in general, that ‘what if’ question still remains.
Rooney will now stay with Manchester United until January at the earliest, where the incessant merry-go-round will rear its head again. It appears that both Arsenal and Chelsea missed out on the frontman, much to the delight of United. But is the gain of one Premier League club going to be to the detriment of our national side in general?
Ever since Moyes’s implication in pre-season that Rooney would be no more than second choice to Van Persie, the Englishman has become increasingly unsettled. It didn’t start here though, a series of high profile fallouts with Ferguson left the Englishman cutting a frustrated figure at Old Trafford in the latter months of his tenure. An unhappy footballer playing second fiddle, hardly the perfect preparation for England’s main hope going into a World Cup year is it?
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Rooney has for a while now maintained a strained relationship with David Moyes, and unless something can be done to rectify the situation both United and England are going to suffer. It seems a waste that the clubs fourth all time goalscorer and a man with 141 league goals for the club has been forced into such a background role. The importance of Van Persie is marked, but a fit and firing Rooney is surely a worthy addition to any side?
Now of course Rooney may well be afforded the opportunity of playing in behind Van Persie week in week out, to be honest we just don’t know. However what has been made clear is that the team is no longer about Wayne Rooney, and as it stands he is going to be fighting it out with the likes of Welbeck, Kagawa and Hernandez for that first team berth. Some may argue this kind of meritocracy is good, but for someone with the emotional fragility of Rooney I think it really could do more harm than good.
Leaving Rooney to slug it out for first team scraps could well be the best move for United, in the end if someone like Kagawa proves himself deserving then why not move him up the pecking order? The issue is more of a national one in reality. Some may disagree, but for me United still boast a range of International stars ready to take up the gauntlet, the reality for England is that they just do not have this luxury. Wayne Rooney still represents one of a few world-class options for Roy Hodgson, and for the sake of the national side his future still needs to be nurtured.
So would a move have boosted England?
Moves to Chelsea and Arsenal were mooted, and in my opinion both would have benefited the respective clubs and the nation in general. Neither Chelsea nor Arsenal are endowed with the striking riches of United and clearly Rooney would have been a certain starter for both clubs. Chelsea’s willingness to play without a recognised striker just about says it all and in my opinion Olivier Giroud and Wayne Rooney just aren’t in the same league as each other. Now who knows Rooney could have been employed as a number 10 or an out and out striker, it is all pretty hypothetical but most would agree he would be the focal point of both attacking outfits.
Someone like Jose Mourinho openly admitting that Rooney is his only transfer target has a profound effect on the individual. Rooney needs to be wanted and his recent struggles may well have heralded the need for a new environment.
Playing in the confines of London, with consistent opportunities at a top club where he is wanted, surely the blueprint for a resurgent Rooney?
England’s national side, if recent performances are anything to go on, are in absolute tatters. Monotonous and dull, the national side have decided stifling the opposition is the only option for a side that has so little to offer going forward.
If England are even to get to Rio let alone compete they desperately need a firing Wayne Rooney, and his prolonged stay in Manchester just could put pay to that.
Will Rooney’s failed move ultimately damage England?
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