Just a day after breaking an historic Manchester United record, the discussion as to how long Wayne Rooney will remain at the club has cropped up.
The 31-year-old took his tally to 250 at United, enough to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton and stand alone at the top of the club’s all-time goalscoring chart.
However, with his role at Old Trafford diminishing in recent times, the question has been asked as to how long he will remain with such fierce competition for places around him.
While he provided a clear reminder on Saturday as to what he can offer with the late equaliser against Stoke City to preserve his side’s impressive unbeaten run, the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all pushing him into a regular spot on the bench.
In turn, with a lack of playing time in the closing stages of his career, could Rooney be forced to consider his options moving forward?
“It’s a slightly peculiar day to raise this, but it’s interesting that he scored the goal – great goal, great landmark – as a Manchester United substitute,” The Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman told Sunday Supplement.
“He’s not just a substitute at this moment, in Mourinho’s mind he is now one of his substitutes.
“You can only presume he will still be on the bench at best and therefore, you begin to wonder whether it’s time for Wayne to begin to have a look around again?”
With Jose Mourinho likely to look at ways to strengthen his squad in the summer, Rooney may well find himself further down the pecking order next season.
That debate will go on and others will argue that he deserves to stay and possibly even see out his career at United. However, one thing that the Supplement panel agreed on was that the club should show recognition of what is an incredible achievement with a statue of the stalwart.
“They need to build a statue to him,” The Sun’s Neil Custis said.
“It’s a 44-year-old record and if you look at his consistency of goalscoring down the years, it’s incredible.”