Wayne Rooney, in my opinion, is still one of the best players in the world.
He has his critics, people say he has been too inconsistent over the last few seasons.
Agreed, Rooney is not United's main goal-scorer anymore, since the arrival of Robin van Persie in the summer, so he's had to take up the 'number ten' role at Old Trafford. Even still, he has popped up with a respectable amount of goals this campaign.
The former Everton superstar has been the main man at Old Trafford since Cristiano Ronaldo departed for Real Madrid in 2009, but has confessed himself that the £24 million arrival Dutch hit man van Persie removed his tag as United's 'talisman'. Throughout the season Rooney has consistently been asked to operate in different roles, whether it is out on the flanks, as a main striker or usually, just behind the main striker.
Personally, I think Rooney is a future centre midfielder, and it looks as though that may be Ferguson's ideology as well. He is a terrific distributer of the ball, and we have seen him spray Paul Scholes - like passes from one side of the pitch to the other.
Another attribute that would see him succeed, when fully fit, is his great stamina and work-rate. If he could get back to his former fitness levels he could also become a box-to-box player, and could also become a 20-goal a season midfielder, similar to Frank Lampard. As for consistency, scoring 99 goals in the previous three-and-a-half seasons is hardly inconsistent form.
On top of all his brilliant talents, perhaps the one that stands out the most is his incredible passion and desire to win football matches.
Lionel Messi once said of Rooney: "We all know football players at the top level are blessed with high wages, it's no secret. But Rooney would play for 100-euros-a-week. You can see the fire in his eyes. It's that fire which makes him the best of the best".
The Englishman does not look like losing the passion he expressed as a fiery 16-year-old at Everton, and 11 years on his appetite for the game is as strong as ever. It is this attitude that can rub off on the rest of the team, and he is looking more and more like he could be a future club captain. Also, looking on from midfield means he can be all round the pitch to motivate his team-mates.
With Rooney's hunger seeming to never run out, it also looks as though he can become a similar player to Ryan Giggs - he can play for at least another ten years at the top level with great effect.
It is all these attributes - his energy, technique, all-round roar ability and passion for the game - that make Wayne Rooney so vital to the heartbeat of Manchester United, and furthermore make him such a valuable footballer to the teams he plays for.
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