Wayne Rooney Deserves Contract Offer from Manchester United

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentNovember 15, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United on the subs bench during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford on October 29, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It's a measure of Wayne Rooney's impressive start to the season that speculation he's about to sign a new contract at Manchester United has not been met with outrage from the fans.

During the summer, it seemed impossible that United would offer Rooney a new deal. It appeared equally unlikely that the England striker would want to sign it.

But three-and-a-half months into the season, Rooney's form is as good as it has ever been. He insists he's "enjoying" the chance to concentrate on his football. David Moyes has played his part, handing Rooney a central role alongside, rather than behind, Robin van Persie.

The first real test of Rooney's Kevin Pietersen-style reintegration at United came in the first home game of the season against Chelsea.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  Jose Mourinho the Chelsea manager reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge on November 9, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

The visiting fans spent the evening singing "Wayne Rooney, we'll see you next week," but the real focus was on the reaction of the home support. They responded with a warm reception that Jose Mourinho called "typically English."

It was a reference to English politeness, suggesting it wouldn't happen in any other country. But it was more to do with the United fans and their acceptance of the situation.

After all, it wasn't as clear-cut as 2010 when Rooney admitted he wanted to leave. This time, Sir Alex Ferguson's account of events at the end of last season differed to Rooney's version. For United fans there was an element of doubt.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26:  David Moyes the manager of Manchester United talks with Wayne Rooney during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on October 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo b
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Still, the supporters are unlikely to forget what happened in 2010 and during the summer of 2013. It will perhaps always be the asterisk next to Rooney's United career.

But whether his legacy will be tainted is a debate for another time. For now, he's playing well and helping to smooth the difficult transition from Ferguson to Moyes.

At 28-years-old, he's reached the peak of his powers and it makes sense for the United board—who deserve credit for not bowing to player power and rushing into negotiations—to tie him down into his 30s.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13:  England players Wayne Rooney and Glen Johnson share a joke during an England Training Session at London Colney on November 13, 2013 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Watching Rooney spend his most prolific years at another club would be a difficult pill to swallow having nurtured him for almost a decade.

If Rooney wants to leave Old Trafford, he certainly isn't showing it on the pitch.

Watching him race around against Arsenal, hurrying and hassling, it was difficult to imagine him ever entertaining the idea of him moving to the Emirates, or even Stamford Bridge.

Above all, football fans want to watch players who are as committed as they are. And so far this season, Rooney has ticked all the boxes.

United fans may never forget the two occasions Rooney came close to leaving Old Trafford. But he's earned their forgiveness with his performances—and with it, the offer of a new contract.