Wayne Rooney Is Still Invaluable to Manchester United
The England striker has two years left on his contract, and, for once, the power lies with the club rather than the player.
Then there's the suitors: Chelsea. Jose Mourinho's side are genuine challengers for the Premier League title, and they would be improved with Rooney in the squad. As it stands, they are relying on Demba Ba, 20-year-old Romelu Lukaku and misfiring Fernando Torres for goals, and Rooney has shown in the past he's capable of 30-goal seasons.
But what has been lost in the transfer saga is Rooney's value to United.
He might have only scored 12 goals in the Premier League last season, a modest total by his own high standards, but talk of his downfall is greatly exaggerated.
He remains the greatest English player of his generation, and he's still invaluable to United. He can lead the line, play as a No.10 or out wide, either in a forward three of a midfield four.
He's become a master at the European away performance, dropping into midfield to stop teams passing out from the back, but always alert to the opportunity to break quickly when the ball turns over.
It's only when you try and think of players who could replace the 27-year-old that you realise his worth. United could sign other strikers, they could bring in a deep-lying No.10.
But there are very few players in the world who can do both, and even fewer who have the tactical discipline to be moved out wide at a moment's notice, depending on the state of the game. Danny Welbeck has done the job against Wigan and Swansea, but Rooney's experience still gives him the edge.
Rooney was overshadowed by Robin van Persie last season. It's not surprising after the Dutchman's goals drove United towards a record 20th title.
But Van Persie's achievements shouldn't diminish Rooney's importance because if he's fit and firing, he can be just as devastating.
And just as it's assumed Rooney would tip the balance in Chelsea's favour if he moved to Stamford Bridge, if Moyes can get him back on side at Old Trafford, he could do the same for United.
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