There has been a lot of talk regarding Wayne Rooney this offseason. However, most of the things media have reported are not the ones we would like to hear from one of the top players in the club.
Experts have said he is slow. Some have said he is on the decline. And a few have mentioned the possibility of a transfer, as they believe Rooney “is not good enough” to remain a Manchester United player. There have been questions about his fitness, his commitment, and his desire to compete.
None of that should matter, however. Rooney remains as one of the leaders in the club, and he is an important part of the dressing room. He certainly does not look like the world-class striker he was five years ago, but the projection of a player can change with time. And we must believe in him, and be patient with him. Rooney has been through a lot with Manchester United in recent years, and one simply can’t turn the back on an idol.
The numbers say he might be expendable, though. After all, we are talking about an attacker who only contributed with eight goals and 10 assists in 39 matches across all competitions. And at 31 years of age, he is not getting any younger. But that does not mean that United should part ways with him.
High-level forwards tend to hit their prime somewhere between 29 and 33 years old. That logic would mean Rooney still has at least two years at the top. Since his current deal expires in 2019, there is enough time to decide. Rooney remains an important part of the team both on and off the pitch. And he still has a lot of talent, and can win games on his own. Letting him go is not an easy thing to do.
United have Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to lead the attacking line in the future. And they have been linked with players such as Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, and Alvaro Morata. Those potential arrivals would inject some much-needed new blood to the side. But having veterans on the squad is useful, too. And if we consider his experience, and the fact that he has seen a lot through his time at Old Trafford, it makes sense for United to keep him in the club as long as they can.
Even if the top clubs come knocking at the door, Manchester United should maintain Rooney on the team. He is too influential to allow him to leave for peanuts only.