Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney.
Although he has just had a disappointing season, the interest surrounding Wayne Rooney in this summer’s transfer market suggests he is still a world class talent, who is simply not being used to his best potential at Manchester United.
Rooney has been at the club since 2004, when he joined for £28million as an 18-year-old prodigy from Everton. At this time, Rooney seemed to have the world at his feet, having just starred for England at Euro 2004 and combining flair and power perfectly to make him look like one of the best talents ever produced in this country.
However, while Rooney’s move to United has seen him win almost everything there is to win in the game with five Premier League titles and the Champions League, he is arguably never quite looked like being the focal point of the team, and has earned more of a reputation of being a jack of all trades, filling in in various positions to accommodate the club’s other star players, such as Cristiano Ronaldo in the past, and Robin van Persie now.
The England international has still performed admirably, and is good enough to drop into midfield or drift wide, but his best seasons have come when he was the main striker, scoring 34 goals in both the 2009/10 and 2011/12 campaigns, though this did not coincide with title success for United.
The 27-year-old scored just 16 times this year, and seemed untrusted by Sir Alex Ferguson in the big games, which seems harsh given his record of scoring important goals at the right time, and of course his ability to pull a wonder-goal out of nowhere. This has led him to submitting a transfer request at Old Trafford, and perhaps this is the right move for him to get the recognition he deserves.
The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Manchester City and Chelsea are all keen on signing him for big money this summer, and it is likely that he would go on to show United what they have been missing, as he is certainly one of the world’s most dangerous strikers when given the chance to play there.
Rooney has 197 goals in 400 games for United, and should be considered a legendary player at the club. His amazing over-head kick against Manchester City was voted the best Premier League goal of all time, and he is certainly one of the best the Premier League has seen. There is still time for him to truly show his potential elsewhere; he’s certainly good enough to play abroad, as a rare example of an English player blessed with superb technique and intelligence on the pitch.
Although he has not shown it this season, hopefully soon enough we will be talking about Rooney in the same bracket as the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo again.