Things have taken quite a turn from the days of the summer, when Wayne Rooney seemed to be on his way out of Manchester United for a million and one reasons. A couple of months later, and the England forward is settled and content with where he is right now, but that might not be a forever lasting situation.
Rooney has gone out of his way to clear the air about his transfer request and the deterioration in his status at Manchester United, beginning midway through last season while he was still playing under Alex Ferguson.
According to Rooney, the main reason for trying to leave to Chelsea is Alex Ferguson. In his interview, Rooney doesn’t mention his former manager’s name once, but it’s quite clear where the problem was for him. It was Alex Ferguson insisting on using Rooney out of his position, helping with the midfield assignments instead of being used as a forward next to Robin van Persie, that made Rooney believe that his future was elsewhere.
Great win today. Really enjoying my new midfield role. Always involved in the game.
This was a tweet from Rooney exactly one year ago coming on October 8. Things changed a lot from that moment, and it probably had to do with more than just being played out of his position. But Rooney sticks to the story of feeling that he’s done enough for the club in the decade he’s been there to warrant playing in his favorite position, and not be used as a midfielder, unless it’s the final 10-15 minutes of a match, and he’s needed in some defensive help.
David Moyes and Rooney didn’t have the best of starts – Moyes was quoted saying Rooney is a second choice to Robin van Persie, which pretty much signaled Rooney that it’s time to leave. However, despite the bids coming in from Chelsea, Manchester United made it quite clear that they weren’t planning on selling him. Would an offer from outside the Premier League convinced them to act differently? It’s hard to say.
Once Rooney understood he isn’t going to be sold, he focused completely on coming back from an injury that kept him away from United’s preseason tour, and doing well for the club. Whatever he discussed with Moyes upon the team’s return worked, and Rooney is looking as committed and motivated as ever, scoring 5 goals and adding 4 assists in all competitions this season.
Is he staying with Manchester United for life? Rooney’s smart enough not to fall into that trap, and likes leaving his options open. Rooney was contradictory in his telling of the tale, which probably has a lot more to unfold if the right people come forward. From Alex Ferguson, who probably doesn’t want Rooney at the club, to Rooney’s advisers, who have their own agenda while pulling the strings. This wasn’t the first time Rooney tried to force his way out of the club, the previous time being a lack of transfer market ambition from the team.
Rooney didn’t play in the midfield as much as he makes it out to be, so there have to be other reasons. In any case, Alex Ferguson was probably a big piece in the puzzle, but how much of it was actually a personal feud and had nothing to do with footballing positions might be revealed in the future. For now, all is well, until Rooney finds another reason to leave/improve his contract.