Wanting to see Wayne Rooney leave Manchester United 0


The consensus in the press seems to be that Wayne Rooney will sign a new contract with Manchester United and commit himself to the Premier League club well into his thirties. That’s good for United, and even better for an embattled David Moyes.

Modern contracts are flimsy, and they act more to protect a player’s value than they do his future, and so even by signing an extension Rooney isn’t really guaranteeing that he’ll spend the rest of his future at Old Trafford. He might do but, as we’ve seen before with this player, that will depend more on his state of mind than it will his contract.

Rooney is divisive as a player; despite his many successful domestic seasons, there will always be some who believe that we - the British fans - overvalue his talent because of his nationality. He’s a very English player, and his game is built on a set of attributes which make him perfect for the style of play in this country. He’s a blend of technique, desire, and rough-and-tumble physicality - for all intents and purposes, he’s the prototypical Premier League footballer.

Watching Rooney over the course of the last decade has been a pleasure, and I would never wish to encourage a talent-drain away from the Premier League, but there is a curiosity as to whether he could adapt to a different competition. He certainly has the fundamentals to be a star in, say, La Liga, but would he have the discipline, and would he translate well to a more structured environment? As we’ve seen internationally, the slower the pace of a game the more his influence can be diluted - and that will forever be the go-to argument for his critics. It’s a contrary viewpoint given that he’s played in three Champions League finals, but it’s one which has lingered nonetheless.

I don’t want to see him leave England, but if he doesn’t - or doesn’t during his prime - then there will always, unfairly, be that question-mark against his ability and there always be those who claim that he’s been artificially elevated to world-class status.

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