‘It might be cloudy now but that does not mean that the sun will never shine again.’
The same can be said about Wayne Rooney’s career. The English football legend is going through the worst patch of his career now and Jose Mourinho did not hesitate to drop him from the starting XI. Rooney’s form has taken a substantial dip in the last few years but former manager Louis van Gaal hardly dropped him from the side. That’s where Jose Mourinho has shown his ruthlessness.
The Mirror claims that Jose Mourinho has even told Rooney that he is free to leave the club if he wants regular first-team football. Even though the England skipper is having the worst phase of his career, he is still a big player and will definitely attract plenty of interest. The Mirror claims that there is already interest from China and USA while a recent report from the same publication states that Italian giants Inter have also made their interest known in the player.
Should Rooney look for greener pastures now? He is 32 now and still has some years of top-flight football left in him. Strikers can play at their peak even up to mid-thirties. Zlatan Ibrahimović is an example Rooney can look forward to. He gave his all to the Red half of Manchester throughout his career since he joined the club as a teenager from Everton 12 years back. Is his time up at the Theater of Dreams? Perhaps not. The 31-year-old can still offer a lot to the club and United should show a little more patience in him.
Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are two players Rooney knew closely as the trio played together and were the supposed ‘golden generation’ of English football. Even though both found it hard to deliver at Liverpool and Chelsea once they were in their early thirties, both stayed put to the club up to the point they could and then move to the USA.
Rooney is just 31 and ideally still has 2-3 years at top level left in him. All he needs to do is to keep his head focused on the game and not worry about the outcome. He is not a proper number nine for quite some time now but still has the vision to create goals for his side. Rooney has his own aura at Old Trafford, just like Gerrard had at Anfield, Lampard had at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho should take an example from his old club Chelsea with what they did with their skipper John Terry this summer. The former English captain was all set to leave the West London club with his contract expiry this summer but new manager Conte wanted him to stay for another year and he did even though he is turning 36 this December. Not everything can be bought for money and Mourinho needs to understand that. After all, he was the one who turned around Terry’s fortunes as the duo won the League title for the third time in Jose’s second spell at the club.
Not everything can be bought and Mourinho needs to understand that. He might get a younger world-class player at Old Trafford parting ways with Rooney with the money he has at his disposal but it took Rooney years to build his own stature at the club and Mourinho needs to respect that. If he is really the ‘Special One’, he can make use Rooney’s enormous experience and versatility.
The United skipper staying put at Old Trafford for so many years shows how much he loves the club and how hungry he still is to make a difference when he is on the pitch.
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