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Wayne Rooney belongs at Old Trafford

Jun 22, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT

Wayne Rooney AP

Don’t expect Wayne Rooney to be wearing anything other than a Manchester United shirt come August 17 when they begin the new season at Liberty Stadium.

With The Guardian reporting David Moyes is set to offer Wayne Rooney a new contract with the Red Devils, the incoming manager will hope he can convince the 27-year-old striker Old Trafford is where he belongs.

Despite rumors of unrest between Rooney and management at United, the player will have no desire to leave England or even leave Manchester given the recent birth of his second child.

It’s been a rocky last few years for the old Everton kid.  A look at his goal and assist numbers and it’s easy to see why.

Sir Alex Ferguson could never quite decide how he wanted to use the England international.  Depending on the players brought in and sent elsewhere, he would bang Rooney around between a poacher up top, a secondary striker, a creative attacker just behind the front line, and a winger out to the side.

In his first four years at Old Trafford, Rooney’s goals total hovered between 11 and 16, while his assists grew each year from 5 to 13.  Then his goals tally spiked to 26 in the 2009/2010 season while he fell to just 5 assists. Then 11 and 11 the next year.  Then 27 and 7.  And last season 12 and 10.

Rooney doesn’t appreciate it, and it’s been reported he has twice asked for a transfer, with the most recent occasion just a few months ago.

Sir Alex said no, and then Sir Alex retired.

David Moyes, the man in charge when it all began for Rooney at Goodison Park, has taken the legend’s place in charge, and it’s been said that convincing Rooney to stay will be his top priority.  The Guardian has said the new contract offered will be much more incentive-laden than the old £250,000-per-week ($386,000) deal he has two years left on.

Don’t expect the striker to leave.  The interest reported by Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, and others has been nothing more than quiet speculation, and it would be hard to imagine Rooney breaking mold and uprooting his young family for a fresh start.

Especially when he’ll most likely get a fresh start with Moyes.

But more than anything, wouldn’t it just feel wrong to see Rooney sporting any other kit?

  1. footballer4ever - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Something has to give in in order for Rooney to get more playing time than just money. Chicharito is the odd man out unless his new position will be to polish other footballer’s boots.

  2. dfstell - Jun 23, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    I *really* think that Rooney is at a crossroads. I’m a big United fan and I love watching Rooney play, but he’s at that age that all of us older guys are familiar with. In your late 20s, suddenly you gain weight easily and injuries stop healing overnight. When you’re 20, your body heals like you’re Wolverine from the comic books so you don’t really have to think about why you got hurt and what you need to do to avoid getting hurt. Basically, Rooney hasn’t shown that he knows how to take care of himself and his body…..and he’ll have to do that if he wants to be a top-level soccer player for 5+ years.

    But, here’s the thing…….I’m sure there were people at United who were telling him, “Wayne, you can’t be living like this….” If he wasn’t going to listen to SAF, Giggs, Scholes, Rio, etc., why should he suddenly turn over a new leaf now that Moyes is there?

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