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Is Wayne Rooney still important to Manchester United?

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is a player, who after everything he has done for the club, still divides opinions. Is he still important to the club? On his day, he’s easily one of the greatest English footballers ever. Those days however, are seemingly drying up. A section of United fans are of the belief that he should be sold during the January transfer window, while others in think he should retire at the club. Overall, no one really knows how they want him to be dealt with.

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Quite regularly, Wayne Rooney is slaughtered by a section of United fans and analysts alike, who feel he’s not of the “United Standard” anymore or feel that he’s past it. His performances under Moyes and van Gaal have not helped his cause and as a result, most fans are unwilling go give Rooney a chance under Mourinho, despite the fact that he is the captain of the team.

For many his breakdown in 2010 after his threat to leave the club before being tied down long term as a clear sign that he did not respect the club. This season, many fans have called for him to be replaced by new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the starting line-up for the foreseeable future. Other fans feel like he should be slowly phased out of the starting XI.

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The argument that always rages in the Rooney debate is whether he is appreciated more by fans based in Manchester or fans worldwide. The general consensus in these arguments is that supporters across the globe appreciate him more because of what he has done for the Old Trafford outfit overall and feel that his blips can be overlooked. Every where you go, you are sure to have fans of the club telling you that he’s undoubtedly a club legend, because of moments like his goal against Manchester City in 2011.

Another thing overlooked a lot of fans is the fact that for about four years after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, Wayne Rooney helped Manchester United to a couple of Champions League finals, three Premier League titles, four Community Shields and an F.A Cup. A wealth of accolades, considering the magnitude of the player that United had lost to Real Madrid. During that time-frame, Rooney has hit some unreal patches of form in which he has scored a ridiculous amount of goals.

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On what Rooney offers to the team, he is normally deployed as an attacking midfielder. His touch looks a little off at the moment, but that looks like it will improve as the season gets on. Rooney has however provided two goal contributions in his first three competitive games this season, thus proving he is still resourceful to the side. His partnership with Ibrahimovic is also a source for concern, as many have cited that the lack of pace between the two could hamper the side. Nevertheless, we saw in the first two games against Bournemouth and Southampton that both players have the intelligence to work around their pace, and that intelligence will carry them through the season while they are both in good physical condition.

Another viewpoint on what he offers to the team is his guile, unbelievable work rate and some what underrated leadership qualities. A perfect example of these attributes on show was during the FA Cup semi-final against Everton in which he saved United by tracking back about 50 yards to clear a vital chance off the line which eventually led to United winning the tie and going on to win the FA Cup.

Overall, Rooney still divides opinion but he has still done a lot for they club and that can’t be disputed.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Alex Hannam