For what might well be the last time, Manchester United fans got to see Wayne Rooney in action on Thursday night.
Their former skipper mustered a few moments of magic, but couldn’t prevent his Derby County side losing 3-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
In the grand scheme of things, Red Devils fans will have just wanted the chance to reminisce about their all-time leading goalscorer.
Rooney in his day was sublime. As Martin Tyler put it after his famous overhead kick against Manchester City at Old Trafford, he “defied description”. Some would even say he was the finest striker the Premier League has seen before he shuffled back into attacking midfield.
Thierry Henry might have a thing or two to say about that or more recently, so would Sergio Aguero. No overseas player has scored more Premier League goals than the Argentine who, unlike Rooney, shows no signs of slowing down in his thirties.
The Manchester City forward has already scored 16 times this season (or 23 in all competitions).
As a pure finisher, Aguero edges it. Rooney, on the other hand, had attributes that set him apart; his work rate and backtracking were so uncharacteristic of many rival strikers.
The England legend also dominated for United in an era when his country’s top flight was at its very best in terms of depth – something we can’t really say post-2011 when Aguero started winning titles.
It ultimately comes down to whether you are judging the two on goals alone, or whether their overall game should be taken into account.
To settle the debate, we asked GIVEMESPORT readers in a poll and the results were surprisingly clearcut.
Now we’re aware that this isn’t an exact science. However, of over 108,000 responses, 59% went for Rooney, with 41% backing Aguero.
Rooney scored 253 goals in 559 appearances for United, though it has to be said that wasn’t his primary function towards the end of his playing days at the Theatre of Dreams.
Aguero, meanwhile, is currently on 254 goals in 367 games for City.
That means he’s surpassed Rooney’s tally in almost 200 fewer attempts.
Make of that what you will. Ultimately, many fans’ preferences will depend on which side of the Manchester divide they sit.
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