Wayne Rooney is used to making a headline or two.
His future has been avidly debated over the last week. As reported by The Sun, rumors suggested the Englishman's hotheaded temper could see him axed from Sir Alex Ferguson's plans.
In the run up to the launch of his new book, Rooney has stated he would like to end his career at the Theatre of Dreams (via Sky Sports).
The English press are often quick to scrutinise Rooney, especially when things aren't going his way.
With 23 minutes remaining Rooney trotted onto the pitch. As the match came to a close an unfortunate incident with Hugo Rodallega left the burly striker being carried off on a stretcher. He received a badly gashed thigh, an injury that would rule him out for four weeks (via BBC Sport).
This downtime has been important for the England international.
He sat back and watched as his team produced a dramatic 3-2 comeback against Southampton. Robin van Persie scored all three goals that day, indicating Rooney has some work to do when he returns to training.
For the first time in his United career, the influential player isn't guaranteed a place in the starting lineup for every encounter.
Such realities hasn't stopped the former Everton man from pledging his future to the club.
In his interview with Sky Sports, Rooney was asked if he wanted to end his career at United. His answer was forthright:
I hope so. I want to be successful here, I want to still be playing here in the next 10 years and be successful.
You look at Giggsy and Paul Scholes, how successful they have been, they are an example to us all. That is the idea, that is the plan, and hopefully that will be the case.
These words will have United fans rejoicing.
The 26-year-old continues to learn from his wrongdoings. His decision to ask for a transfer request in 2010 remains a particularly dark point in an otherwise superb career. Vitally, Rooney now acknowledges this was a huge mistake (via BBC Sport).
Such recognition is important for a player of Rooney's mentality. His emotional side is often there for everyone to see, and is taken advantage of by the press.
If he seriously wants to follow in the footsteps of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, Rooney will need to keep maturing.
Who knows, maybe one day the next United superstar will be singling him out as the inspiration to stay.
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