Can Wayne Rooney Truly Be Described as a Manchester United Legend?
He'll leave Old Trafford, whenever that is, as a Premier League and European champion. He'll leave a very rich young man after signing three substantial contracts since arriving from Everton as a teenager in 2004.
And, after two goals against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday, he might yet leave as the club's leading goalscorer.
His second goal, a clever finish at the near post after giving the goalkeeper the eyes, was his 200th in a United shirt.
He's fourth on the all-time list behind Jack Rowley (211), Denis Law (237) and Bobby Charlton (249). Another 50 goals will make Rooney United's greatest goalscorer.
A month away from his 28th birthday, it's well within Rooney's reach—fitness and form permitting.
It would be quite an accomplishment at a club with the history boasted by United.
But if he achieved the feat, would it automatically make him a club legend? And will the Stretford End still sing his name 20 years after he's gone?
They don't sing about just anyone.
The usual suspects are there: George Best, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo. They've all secured their place in history and earned the title of "legend."
But that word is about more than a line in a history book.
When United are winning comfortably and the fans at the back of the Stretford End are going through their repertoire, you can often hear tributes to Nicky Butt, John O'Shea, Wes Brown and Jaap Stam.
They're not record appearances holders. They don't top the goalscoring charts.
But they're still adored at Old Trafford because they were loyal. They left because Sir Alex Ferguson wanted them to, not because they agitated for a move.
And that's the asterix next to Rooney's claim.
He can spend the next 10 years scoring goals for United, and the supporters will applaud each one.
But when his name is brought up in pub conversations about the club's greatest players, they'll always remember the discontent.
For now, most fans are prepared to forgive what happened this summer.
They realise that booing him isn't going to help the team be successful.
A fit and firing Rooney, on the other hand, can. He showed as much against Bayer Leverkusen this week.
The debate about whether Rooney can be a United legend is one for another time. We won't really know until long after he's retired.
But even the discussion will sit uneasily with a lot of United supporters.
They look for many things in their legends, and Rooney hasn't ticked all the boxes.
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