Wayne Rooney has been a part of the upper echelon of footballers for many years, however that seems to be changing.
This season the striker went through one of the longest goal droughts of his career, and when he finally hit the form we expect from him, he was forced out of the team by injury. At the moment he has notched seven goals and five assists, which if the totals remain the same until the end of the season, will be his lowest totals for both statistics.
His importance for both club and country has come into question with the emergence of Harry Kane for England, and Anthony Martial for Manchester United.
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The forward has publicly stated that he feels he has a couple of years left in him, scoring goals for England, so it's clear that he is not willing to go down without a fight. The question can never really be about Rooney's spirit though. He has, and probably always will have passion in abundance. It is more of a debate of his continued ability to perform.
There has always seemed to be a question mark above Rooney's qualities, even when he was at his best.
This seems ridiculous for a man who now holds the record as England's top goalscorer, with 50 goals, and who is also closing in on Sir Bobby Charlton's record at United. Yet some would argue that when playing with the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronalo and other legends of the game, it would be difficult for Rooney not to find the net so much.
This could be highlighted by the fact Rooney has never won the Golden Boot in the Premier League, which could be said to prove that the man isn't a top striker.
To add to this, critics would say that Rooney hasn't really earned his place in the England squad through sweat and toil, and hasn't had much competition.
For example in the 2010 World Cup squad, Rooney battled for the striker position with Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe. Now although all these players were seasoned Premier League players, none could be described as 'world class'.
It would seem like Rooney, playing for the top club in England, would guarantee his place on the pitch just by turning up. Now as soon as England have other quality up top, the Liverpudlian's spot in the squad is questioned.
Conversely, Rooney fans have a counter argument to each of these points. Rooney in the Sir Alex Ferguson era, always shared his role at striker with someone else. It could be said that he often returns an excellent amount of assists for a striker, totals that midfielders would envy, which is probably why he is linked with a move to the centre of the park.
Rooney hasn't been the greatest goalscorer because he hasn't needed to be. He works for the team, covering the pitch tirelessly and providing when he could be greedy. He is unique in this aspect that he is considered a striker, yet his style of play fits that of an in the hole midfielder.
His selflessness and insight into the bigger team picture has been studded by his technical ability. Rooney has always been considered a strong player that can manipulate the ball in any way he wishes.
His dribbling is controlled, and he has a range of passing that beguiles his position. He can also scorer absolutely cracking goals, his volley against Newcastle United, and of course, the infamous overhead kick against rivals Manchester City, being two fine examples.
It could be argued that the mark of a brilliant player is the ability to produce something no-one expects, and throughout the years Rooney has done just that.
Rooney is just recovering from injury, playing in the U21's as a part of the recuperation, but once he comes back, the player has six games to prove to Roy Hodgson that he deserves a place in the starting XI come the summer and the European Championships.
Does Wayne Rooney deserve to be in Roy Hodgson's XI for Euro 2016? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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