Rooney future in doubt?
Published: 03.09.12 / Written by: David Gold
According to some newspapers Wayne Rooney´s future at Manchester United is not the cast iron certainty that it would have been assumed.
The signing of Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa has increased competition in the part of the pitch where Rooney loves to operate. Although van Persie can play as the leading forward as he showed last season with Arsenal, he can also drop back into Rooney's space.
And Kagawa loves to operate in that hole, and has shown in his very early days that he is a real star in the making at Old Trafford. So where does Rooney fit into this scheme?
In theory he should be perfectly adjusted for it. Rooney is a technical and clever player, and should be able to link up with those around him. Yet he has never quite hit the heights expected of him. He has been brilliant at times, but never quite at the same level as the world's top, top players, and that may concern those around him.
His latest injury could not have come at a worse time, with van Persie and Kagawa both scoring their first goals for United in the same game he received a nasty injury. But Rooney has already once requested a transfer from Manchester United, only to make a u-turn. But if Sir Alex Ferguson decides to be rid of a player there is no going back. The Scot has become known for his ability to kick out even the biggest stars, be it David Beckham, Jaap Stam or Roy Keane, confident the club will always be stronger. And they always are, too.
So Rooney must not rest on his laurels. There is certainly much to prove for a player who not so long ago was basically untouchable at Old Trafford. Ferguson will surely have enjoyed being able to rejig his forward line and add competition for the Englishman to have to live with.
It seems unlikely right now that United would want to see the back of Rooney, and there must be a question of where he would go. Most teams would benefit from his brilliance, but where would he fit in at Barcelona, at Real? Teams who are already settled and not necessarily in need of his talents. Any other team would surely be a step down for the Liverpudlian.
So whilst it may not mean that Rooney is going to leave Old Trafford anytime soon, a challenge has been laid down to him. Rooney must rediscover that childhood love of the game and brilliance that marked him out even at the age of just 16. He has the ability to do things few others can, and will be the man England look to help guide them to glory at international level in the short to medium term.
But there is much to do for him to fulfil his considerable potential. The challenge of having van Persie and Kagawa around him will surely bring out the best in him. But with Ferguson you never quite know, and it could be that there is something more than meets the eye about the Rooney situation.