Wayne Rooney’s time in Manchester United is officially over.
It was clear Rooney was not in Jose Mourinho’s plans ahead of this season. And considering the signing of Romelu Lukaku, Rooney was barely going to see action in the coming months. And with the 2018 World Cup inching closer, the striker needed to find a place to play on a regular basis. Several clubs expressed interest, but Rooney opted to return home. The English international has joined Everton on a free transfer.
There are mixed feelings with Rooney’s departure from Manchester United. After all, we are talking about the club’s all-time leading scorer. We are talking about a player who spent the last 13 years as a Red Devil. But most importantly, Rooney is a guy United fans will always remember. The striker went through some ups and downs, but he was always there when the team needed him. And he became an idol for fans all over the world. He was one of the most recognizable players in the roster.
However, Rooney’s influence on the team seemed to decrease greatly in the past three years. He never looked the same after Sir Alex Ferguson left the club. And this past season he was nothing more than a squad player, far from the star status he enjoyed in the past. Mourinho did not found a place for him in the starting XI, and he did not take advantage of his opportunities when he had the chance. But most fans will not remember Rooney for what he did now. He will be remembered for all the things he brought to the club over the years.
The numbers back him up. Over his 13-year career at Old Trafford, Rooney managed to score 253 goals and added 145 assists in 559 matches. He played as an striker, as an attacking midfielder, as a winger.. he even played as a central midfielder when asked. Sometimes he did not look comfortable and fans often criticised him quickly, but he always found a way to respond.
The trophies he won at Old Trafford are almost too many to count. Since he joined the team in 2004, Rooney won the English Premier League and the Community Shield five times each. He also won the English League Cup four times and the FA Cup once. As if that was not enough, he also lifted the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, and the FIFA Club World Cup. Rooney also won the Player Of The Year Award in the 2009-10 campaign.
Only time will tell whether he ends up as a club legend, or as a very good player who ultimately left the club when he had the first chance to do so. But there is no question Rooney will live forever in the fans’ collective memory for a very long time.