Over the past few years, Wayne Rooney has began to show his age and has become a shadow of what he once was. His recent form in a United shirt has warranted endless speculation from the media and fans alike as to what is next for England’s top goalscorer.
With his recent departure from the national side and his captaincy being revoked, these few weeks haven’t been great for Rooney. After a sporadic season with the Red Devils, his time at the club is seemingly coming to an end. This begs the question: where will Rooney be playing his football next season? With him lacking the yard or so of pace he once had, is he still good enough to play at the highest standard of the game?
For me, the answer is yes. Although he’s lost certain aspects of his game that made him into one of the best strikers in the world, his ability and eye for goal is still very much there. Everton are reportedly in the pot of clubs that could potentially sign him, and I can see why. He has old friends there and family relations to the club, he started his career there and was given a platform to become the player he has become. He is from Liverpool and was born and bred a Toffee. There’s no doubt there’s good reason to go ‘back home’, and this Everton side need a player like him. With the recent speculation of their main striker Romelu Lukaku moving on to bigger and better things they will need an experienced front man to score their goals. It almost seems like a perfect fit.
However, for those who believe Rooney’s time is up at the highest level of the game, he could take the approach that a lot of his fellow professionals have taken by going over to the United States. In the U.S the standard of football is rising, maybe because of the standard of players that are joining the MLS from foreign countries. Nonetheless the game is still played at a slower pace and a lower degree of difficulty than that to the Premier League. This attracts players at the end of their career as they can still play football at fairly high standard and get paid well, while also helping to elevate the perceived standard of the game just through their own name. Another attraction to playing in the States is the country itself. Food, weather, and the glamour of it all, it’s something bigger and better than what England can offer and for footballers and their families it is perfect. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wayne Rooney playing for the likes of LA Galaxy or Chicago Fire next season.
The final realistic option for the Mersey boy is a move to China. This wouldn’t have been something that would have ever crossed Rooney’s mind two years ago, but with the influx in talent being shipped over there and the obscene wages that are being offered, no one would blame Rooney for going over to China and picking up a few big fat cheques as his career draws to a close. Nevertheless, I don’t believe Rooney would go to China for two reasons. The first is moving his young kids to such a unfamiliar foreign place – either that or leaving them behind – and secondly, he doesn’t want to play for the money, he wants to continue playing at the highest level he can.
Overall Wayne Rooney has been a true great of the game and at 31 still holds a great deal of ability and a lot to offer to different clubs. He is both Manchester United and England’s top goalscorer of all time, and has perhaps paid the price for being so good so young in some undeserved disrespect as he has aged. It’s almost certain that it’s only a matter of time until we find out what the future holds for one of the legends of the modern game.
Featured image curtesy of Newton akpos Arunaye via Flickr.