Wayne Rooney has had a slightly troubled season at Manchester United - though he has still managed 16 goals in all competitions.
And, without Rooney, Manchester United look half the side they have promised to be this season. The FA Cup clash that ended United's double chances against Chelsea showed just how much the Red Devils miss the England international. United looked a team without any desire and ready to surrender possession.
There was no pressing, no heart to run and retrieve loose balls, no intention to win challenges to show that the team meant business.
While Rooney might not have been able to rectify all of these fallacies, he would have certainly added the drive and passion that would certainly flow throughout the team
Rooney has been the one switching to wide positions supporting the full backs and attacking the heart of the opposition.
His picture perfect winner against Fulham at Craven Cottage was a proof of his ability to switch to multiple attacking positions, something which Sir Alex desperately needs for better things in the future.
The out of form United wingers are clearly bought to the forefront when one looks at the season statistics.
Rooney and Robin van Persie have a combined assists of 17 between them, while sharing a massive 31 goals each, that too in the Premier League.
Wayne Rooney's importance to the team is also evident as when he and Van Persie started a game, United have never lost a match. So it has been Van Persie netting the goals, but the presence of Rooney is what gives him the balance in the free scoring forward role.
Rooney’s absence leads him to dropping deeper to craft moves, thus United lack Van Persie’s killer instinct in front of goal when Rooney is missing.
A proposal which Sir Alex might consider in the coming years is shifting Rooney to midfield. His ability to pass the ball and spot gaps coupled with his talent of reading the game makes him a top class candidate for midfielder.
However Rooney in the middle would not help as it would decrease his goal rate and his goals are vital for United every season. Thus Rooney maintains the ability to help in adding to midfield options which makes him a prize asset for any team.
Rooney is key to the future of Manchester United and will continue to drive them onto success.
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