Robin van Persie isn't going anywhere, and neither is Wayne Rooney. Therefore, the latter must accept a new role with defending Premier League champion Manchester United, the club he has represented for nearly a decade.
According to The Mirror's Richard Beech, first-year Red Devils boss David Moyes is backing Rooney after he refused to make a transfer request this summer, opting to instead remain at Old Trafford:
I think Wayne has been a great player for Manchester United for many years now.
He was an up and coming great player when he was at Everton as a young boy, and I think his career has gone the way everyone expected it to go.
I thought he played very well the other night [against Chelsea]. He's looking in good condition, mentally he's in good shape, so we will do everything we possibly can to keep that going.
With his new manager buying in, Rooney must do the same by welcoming a new role in the squad's lineup.
After scoring a league-leading 26 goals in 2012-13, Van Persie has cemented himself as the club's go-to striker. His production, consistency and durability left no doubts. But Rooney's goal can't be to outshine the Dutch star this season. Instead, he should be looking to maximize on his potential wherever he winds up on the pitch.
Rooney understands that United can win the Premier League even if he's not at his best. Last season proved that. But if the Red Devils are going to contend for the Champions League throne, they'll need the English superstar to provide a second scoring punch alongside Van Persie in Europe this season.
Despite injury and a reduced role, Rooney managed to net a dozen goals in 27 league appearances.
If he can remain healthy for a majority of the year and learn to love his new position or role in Moyes' lineup, there's no reason to believe he won't make the same type of impact he has in past campaigns. After all, the 27-year-old does enough without the ball to leave a mark on most matches, and his presence alone will help make United a better team.
But a bitter Rooney isn't necessarily an ineffective one. The face of the club has every right to feel slighted by the coaching staff, but would be wise to turn his frustration into motivation. His performance on the pitch is the only thing that can earn him his alpha dog status back.
Rooney has chosen to remain at Old Trafford by turning away Chelsea, and now it's up to him to accept a new role in order for Manchester United to maximize on its potential in 2013-14.
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