Within the English Premier League, there are three or four major players on the transfer block that have taken all the headlines. Gareth Bale and his courtship by Madrid, Luis Suarez and his courtship by anyone with money, how much money may get spent by Chelsea and Mourinho, and whether Wayne Rooney will be playing his football for someone outside of Manchester next season. The Rooney saga began before the season even ended as one of Sir Alex’s final interviews made mention that the England international had turned in a transfer request. However, a recent statement made by new Red Devils manager David Moyes has the transfer speculation heating up again.
If Rooney stays, as Moyes suggested, then it is actually harder to imagine than if he left. Although Van Persie, as any follower of the Dutch star will know, is practically always a moment away from a season ending injury. Although Hernandez may never be given a large run of starts in the EPL. Although Welbeck seems a bit hot and cold at times and tends to show a lack of maturity on the ball at times. Although Kagawa is not truly a striker to lead the lines and seems better suited to play behind another attacker. Despite all of this stuff, it is difficult to see Rooney allowing his game to be involved with such a large striking stable.
Sure, he may have started playing in roles outside of a striker. His over-the-top pass to have Robin Van Persie finish with a gorgeous volley was my vote for goal of the year. That particular goal also wrapped up the League title and he made that pass from a deep midfield role. However, Rooney being used frequently as a midfielder seems unlikely as he will want to be in prime striking form as we approach the 2014 World Cup. Every decision that Rooney makes or that his future club end up making will directly effecting his summer in Brazil. Considering how deep the striking core has also become for England, despite Rooney’s inclusion in the squad seemingly guaranteed just based on status alone, Rooney will still want to impress during this upcoming campaign.
The biggest reason that Rooney staying tends to make little sense to me is the fact that him staying would probably only serve as a band-aid. This is not the first “will he, won’t he” of Rooney’s career and, unless he is given every start possible during the season, he will probably be on top of the rumor mill again next summer. Considering that he may be as valuable as possible right now, that type of drama just does not seem worth it. Plus, as a new manager, Moyes will not want any extra drama that could cost him his new job. With Rooney, the player may create a situation where the club becomes set in a controversy where the only option would be either keeping the manager or keeping the player. Believe me, Moyes will not want that.
Moyes may just be saving face to make it seem like he is fighting to keep Rooney. That type of action will go over well with supporters, so it makes a bit of sense. However, Moyes won’t want to lead people on thinking that there is hope of seeing Rooney wearing the red of Manchester next season. We are definitely watching a very special situation unfold right now and I am quite excited to see how it ends up. Personally, I hope Rooney goes somewhere completely unexpected…like United…