The appointment of Jose Mourinho as Manchester United manager has sparked the imagination of many fans. The manager has won countless trophies in his career, and the United faithful are hopeful that he will expand his array of titles with the Red Devils.
Mourinho has always been shrewd in the transfer market. He was the man to bring Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and Arjen Robben to Chelsea in his time. He broke the transfer record for Drogba, and United fans will hope he will break the bank to bring in the quality they need.
One player that Mourinho courted in his second Chelsea spell was Manchester United's very own Wayne Rooney. There has been a lot of talk about players performing below par being brought to their best, however, in the case of Rooney, it may be more about bringing him from good to world-class.
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Mourinho clearly feels he knows how to get the best out of the English captain. Mourinho wasn't looking for Rooney to be a bit-part player in his Chelsea squad. That season, the club had to field Samuel Eto'o as their main striker, and you would think that Rooney would be able to displace the senior forward.
What does getting the best out of Wayne Rooney mean? Well, his best season in terms of goals to games was the 2011-12 season, in which he was the undisputed striker. He played 43 games that season and bagged 34 goals. He benefited from a run of excellent form at the start of the season, scoring nine goals in five games, including consecutive hat tricks.
In all honesty, Mourinho could have done with that at Chelsea when he wanted the striker.
Rooney's second best season was 2009-10, with 34 goals in 44 games, and again, the striker was the talisman of the United attack, but clearly Mourinho won't be able to utilise Rooney as his best forward, with the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and possibly Zlatan Ibrahimovic all gracing Old Trafford.
However, it has long been said that Rooney's future lies in midfield. To compare Rooney to a midfielder would be to draw comparisons with Paul Scholes. Scholes started his United career as a striker and moved into midfield with age. He always managed to contribute goals for United even when in midfield, and Rooney will be looking to do the same.
Scholes' trademark ability was to ping a massive pass across the field with deadly accuracy. In recent games, Rooney has been deployed as a midfielder, and the passing he's demonstrated has been Scholes like. So much so, commentators would respond by comparing the pass to something the United legend would produce.
Mourinho will have to utilise the player in midfield if he hopes to achieve the best of his talent, and will have to give him the kind of freedom that will let him release his creativity. Used like Cesc Fabregas or Frank Lampard, Rooney could become a force to be reckoned with.
Will Wayne Rooney be a success in midfield under Jose Mourinho? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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