David Moyes Drops Major Hint That Wayne Rooney Will Captain Manchester United

Jason PettigroveContributor IMarch 24, 2014

Wayne Rooney revelled in his role as captain at Upton Park.
Wayne Rooney revelled in his role as captain at Upton Park.Sang Tan/Associated Press

Manchester United manager David Moyes has given the clearest indication yet that Wayne Rooney will become the new captain of the club.

According to Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail, the captaincy issue was discussed before Rooney put pen to paper on his new £300,000-per-week deal.

With Nemanja Vidic departing for Inter Milan and uncertainty surrounding the futures of both Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, Rooney has emerged as the front-runner to lead the Old Trafford outfit next season.

He was handed the armband against West Ham on Saturday and turned in a captain's performance. The match will long be remembered for his stunning 45-yard goal, with Chris Burgoyne just one fan to muse over the quality of the strike:

Rooney's maturity in the role on Saturday should not be overlooked either.

Moyes himself noted, per Wheeler:

Wayne has led by example all season but maybe he took a wee bit of pride in wearing the armband to show exactly what it means.

He wants to take responsibility. It’s for him to show it and you have to say that he showed it. 

You get opportunities if you’re a player out of the team who suddenly gets a chance or if you become a key player and then get the chance to wear the armband and take that on. He did that.

It's quite a turnaround in the relationship between the pair, given their public falling-out whilst at Everton, detailed in Rooney's autobiography, extracts of which were published in The Guardian.

David Moyes sees an inspirational captain in Wayne Rooney.
David Moyes sees an inspirational captain in Wayne Rooney.Michael Steele/Getty Images

At that point in time Rooney had admitted to wanting to go anywhere to get away from the Scot. 

When Moyes arrived at Old Trafford one can only surmise as to the atmosphere around the training ground. However, the growing maturity that Moyes alludes to has obviously gone some way to repairing any damage.

That faith is now being repaid in droves as Rooney continues to lead by example on the pitch, and not just in the goals-for column.

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher agrees that Moyes has chosen the right man for the job:

Wayne Rooney is one of Man United's best and most influential players and is not far off 10 years at the club, so the natural step is for him to become captain.

Wayne leads by example and while I don't think he has been at his absolute best this year - which is understandable considering the players around him have struggled - he has dragged results out for United and they would be in a much worse position without him.

When the going gets tough, as it did against Liverpool recently, the striker still chased every ball, still went after every lost cause and berated his team-mates for not showing enough fighting spirit.

David Moyes will need much the same again for Rooney's next audition for the role, which comes on Tuesday when rivals Manchester City visit Old Trafford. 

With Robin van Persie still sidelined, added responsibility will fall to United's No. 10. It's a responsibility Rooney will relish in one of the biggest matches of the season.

Say what you like about him, but Wayne Rooney is just the sort of character you want as your captain.