Without anything to be chasing, it’s all about next season, transfer rumors and speculations for Manchester United. Wayne Rooney seems to be the most news-making name at the moment, as Alex Ferguson, as always, tries to calm the waters beating around the ship when it comes to the England international’s future.
You don’t need to be a body language expert to tell something is off with Rooney, probably United’s most important and most talented player over the last four seasons. He has scored 12 goals in the league this season, adding 10 assists, but the benching against Real Madrid is still resonating in his and others’ minds, while being demoted to a midfielder role hasn’t sat well with him as well.
According to to the Daily Mail, Rooney is quite displeased with all the transfer rumors regarding Robert Lewandowski and Falcao in recent weeks. It must be even more infuriating to hear from Alex Ferguson that Lewandowski is indeed a target they’ve been thinking about for a long time, hoping that they do come up with him in the end.
Rooney, like Torres last season with Chelsea, wants assurances that he’ll get to play next season. That shouldn’t be something that sits to well with the Sir, but he himself has been quite adamant that Rooney is about to hit the best period in his career, and there’s no reason he’ll be doing it anywhere else.
You have to look at the structure of the club at present, in terms of the number of first-team players we have at 23 or under. David de Gea, Rafael, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Alex Buttner, Nick Powell, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck. Shinji Kagawa and Chicharito are 24. Jonny Evans is 25 and Wayne Rooney is hitting his peak at 27. These younger players are the foundation for the next five or six years, irrespective of the players breaking through, like Adnan Januzaj, the Belgian boy, who’s really looking very good.
Rooney seems to be the one paying the cost for all the incoming players. Shinji Kagawa also plays the advanced play-maker role, which means Rooney might be shifted to one of the wings, but not in the 4-3-3 system that United used when Cristiano Ronaldo was with the team. Rooney has also been almost like a central midfielder more than once this season, but with Ferguson bringing in new players to accommodate positions Rooney can play in, it almost feels like they’re not counting on him to be as important as he feels he should be for the team.