Over the last decade or so, Wayne Rooney has been one of Manchester United’s most important players and has undoubtedly turned himself into an Old Trafford legend.
The most Premier League goals at one club, 100 Premier League goals at the Theatre of Dreams, the club's second highest all-time top goalscorer, five time Premier League winner, UEFA Champions League winner and currently the official club captain.
Every football fan would have no doubt heard about when 16-year-old Rooney announced himself to the world with an absolute stunner of a first ever Premier League goal against Arsenal for his boyhood club Everton, before becoming the world’s most expensive teenage footballer when he signed for the Red Devils in August 2004.
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There were eyebrows raised, £27 million for an 18-year-old? The Liverpudlian has no doubt set those critics straight over time and has somewhat become an adopted Manc.
However, with the emergence of youth on the red side of Manchester in the form of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, plus some of the United faithful having doubts as to whether the 30-year-old still has what it takes to lead the line at a club, are we nearing the end of the Wayne Rooney’s illustrious Manchester United career?
Until the latter half of the season, when 18-year-old Manchester born Rashford took centre stage at Old Trafford, goals had been one thing the club had certainly lacked, and after missing out on fourth spot to their neighbours Manchester City, they have been made to pay.
Blame was directed towards Louis van Gaal, many have said it’s down to the lack of service the strikers have been starved of, but some have also said it is down to Wayne Rooney no longer having ‘what it takes’.
It is true, Rooney may have looked a shadow of his older self at times this season, but within recent weeks he has looked rejuvenated. It could be due to the fact that he has been fulfilling a role deeper in the midfield allowing him to get more involved with the play and dictate the tempo of the game portraying that wonderful passing ability we all know he has.
Furthermore, he has recently admitted after the club's 3-1 win to AFC Bournemouth, which was the final game of the Premier League season, that it is a position that he expects to play more in.
"Sometimes you have to make choices in your career and at the moment it's better for me to play deeper," Rooney said.
"It could be a bit different for England where I could still be the striker but probably next season that's where I see myself playing."
However, he started as the forward for United against Norwich City at Carrow Road, where he displayed he may not have that injection of pace that he used to but he still has the intelligence to play the position with his clever run and assist that provided Juan Mata with a simple finish.
So, does the player have a future at Old Trafford? If you want a rotational versatile player that can play in both attack and midfield with experience, then Rooney is one of the best options out there for that particular role.
The player himself has already seemingly accepted that a rotation between the two but predominantly more of a midfield role is what he will be performing in should he stay at the club, so there should not be any problems in that department.
The players for the next decade will have an experienced leader to learn off, his technical ability is still up there with the best and as we have grown to learn over the years, he is a work horse therefore he will relish those midfield battles.
Does Wayne Rooney still have a vital role to play at Manchester United? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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