Why Wayne Rooney will prove the difference in the title race

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In the summer before the 2012/13 season a striker's transfer move swayed the title race in favour of Manchester United. When Robin van Persie joined the Red Devils, Sir Alex Ferguson's side held the edge over their rivals.

And once again, this past summer another transfer saga came to ahead - again involving Manchester United - but this time a striker already in their ranks, Wayne Rooney.

Chelsea tried, and tried again to make the English international their star signing of the summer - but recently appointed United boss David Moyes stuck to his guns and kept his prize asset at Old Trafford.

A move that could prove vital come May.

When United met Chelsea with the end of the transfer window looming, the Red Devils faithful gave Rooney a quite fantastic reception.

It was a reception that told all - United fans, like Moyes, like the group of players playing at Old Trafford know just how crucial Wayne Rooney is to the club.

And, this past week, the 27-year-old has been proving it.

A fine free-kick against Crystal Palace on Saturday gave United and Moyes their first home win of the season.

Then, this time in the Champions League, Rooney excelled again - a brilliant display and brace against German outfit Bayer Leverkusen helped United to a 4-2 European victory and Rooney was at the centre of it all.

In contrast, the club that so desperately pursued the striker, have had a nightmare week. Defeat at Everton and a home loss against FC Basel once again proved the Blues are short in attack.

Additionally, the man that came in instead of Rooney, Samuel Eto'o, has not excelled in the lone striker's role in his opening couple of games for Mourinho's side.

So, with many expecting Chelsea to be the nearest rivals to Manchester United's league crown, the fact that they missed out on the signing of Rooney certainly gives United the edge, again.

When looking at the importance of Rooney to United, there should be no underestimating just how crucial he is.

When on form, he is the catalyst of United's play, he's the leader on the pitch and the main driving force behind the team's success.

And worryingly for Chelsea and the rest of United's rivals, Rooney looks hungry and ready to succeed at Old Trafford once again this season.

Rooney, with Robin van Persie at his side, can help United lift the title once again in May. Moyes' summer transfer business was slated by many throughout the window - but in keeping possibly his greatest talent, he has given his side the edge this season.

Rooney, just like Van Persie did last year, can help the Red Devils achieve England's greatest prize once again.

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Manchester United
Wayne Rooney
Premier League

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