Our “Wazza” has been through an unsettling season, although his request for a transfer just weeks before Fergy announced his retirement may, in retrospect, be a cause of regret for him.
Whether he stays or goes is now a major topic of debate in the media, and much will depend on Moyes' skills of persuasion if the former is to be the case. One could argue that Rooney’s departure would not be the loss that it would have been a season ago.
He has certainly dropped down the pecking order of automatic selections that has seen Robin van Persie grasp the mantle of match winner and become the first name on the team sheet for vital matches.
Sir Alex frequently left Rooney on the bench toward the end of the season, and omitting him from the starting lineup in the home leg against Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League was a body blow for a man who likes to play 90 minutes of every game his team is involved in.
Moyes has to decide whether last season was just a blip in Rooney’s career development or an indication that the peak has been reached.
If the new manager believes his former charge still has more to offer, he has to start right away in restoring him to his former glories.
How does he go about it?
First, Rooney is the type of player who loses fitness very quickly but has a fantastic engine when fully fit. He needs to start games on a regular basis and play for the full 90 minutes to retain top form. He is the type of player that doesn’t respond well to the squad rotation system, unlike strike partner Van Persie, who often comes back fresher and sharper from a break.
Rooney’s summer holidays should be pared down to the minimum. He hasn’t played in any of United’s run-in matches, so he should cope with a stringent preseason schedule.
Moyes also needs to decide on the most effective way of utilising Rooney. He is a great team man and will do his best wherever he is asked to play. It is unsettling, however, to be moved to and fro from striker to wide midfield player to central midfield as he has been this season. United will get the best from Rooney when he is allowed to concentrate on one position.