Why United’s all-time top goalscorer should leave the club this summer

Why United’s all-time top goalscorer should leave the club this summer
By Mark Weasley
After his exploits at Euro 2004, where England’s exit was solely due to his absence in the latter rounds as a result of an injury, Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United for a whopping £27m, then a record fee paid for a teenager. The England international had to wait for some time to make his debut, but a hat-trick against Fenerbache showed glimpses of a player that would dominate the English game for years to come.
That time, though, feels like a lifetime as Rooney looks like a shadow of his former self. On a £260k a week contract till 2019, Rooney is on the last legs of his career, and has lost that extra bit of quality that distinguishes mediocre players from great ones.

Rooney, for the first time since he moved to Old Trafford is no longer first choice, and will be gutted to see the team perform so well without him. He equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s long standing goal scoring record with his 249th against Reading in The Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, and he surely knows that the end is in sight. He is also on 198 Premier League goals, second only behind Alan Shearer who is out on his own with 260 goals, but should get to the 200 mark, as no other player has managed apart from the legendary Newcastle striker.

Jose Mourinho is looking to the future, and Rooney being around means he will always be obligated to find playing time for the England captain, and if Rooney truly loves the club, he will surely know that the time to leave has come, and the club has to move forward without him proving to be a restricting factor. There have been no talks about a contract renewal, yet, a homecoming to Everton could also be on the cards.

Wayne Rooney is surely a United legend, but it’s time to say goodbye. It will be hard to walk away, but he should take solace in the case of Steven Gerrard who had to leave Liverpool when he knew he wasn’t first choice anymore.

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