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An Open Letter to Wayne Rooney: What next, Wazza?

Captain, Hero, Legend. But what next?

Feature 15 May 2017, 21:19 IST

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 14:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United in action during the Preimer League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on May 14, 2017 in London, England. Tottenham Hotspur are playing their last ever home match at White Hart Lane after their 118 year stay at the stadium. Spurs will play at Wembley Stadium next season with a move to a newly built stadium for the 2018-19 campaign.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images )

Dear Wayne,

A couple of years back, a Manchester United squad without you was unthinkable, Wayne. You were the first name on the team sheet, and the best player on the pitch. But THAT Wayne Rooney already seems to be one of the distant past.

People at United love you for all you've done for the club. At your prime, you were second to none. But why did you have to do all the dirty work? Why did you have to track back and win the ball for your team, when you could have stayed in the box and scored much more? Why didn't you put yourself and your personal goal tally ahead of the team? Why did you have to play second fiddle to the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin Van Persie and Carlos Tevez?

Because you know what the club stands for. You have the soul of Manchester in you. You know better than anyone that you are going through a really tough period. Whether or not to prove your haters wrong is totally in your hands. With all the improved medical facilities and training, 31 is no longer a dead end in football. The way Ryan Giggs adapted in his late 30s could inspire you. Longevity is the key. And I believe you still have a lot to offer.

England’s captain, all-time leading top scorer of the biggest club in England, a former PFA Player of the year; these phrases aren’t enough to show the world how good you were. But the ultimate question is, what next Captain? Do you believe you’ve still got it? Do you see the fairytale reception you are going to get in case you decide to join Everton? Or do you see yourself receiving a huge paycheck, playing alongside the likes of Lavezzi and Oscar.

Manchester United are probably going to leave the decision making up to you. Jose wouldn’t want you to leave, but it won’t assure you much playing time either. Having seen your prime, a rediscovery in your form will boost the team a lot. But if you don’t see that happening, Wayne, where does your future reside? 

Everton were and still are, a mid table club. They gave you a chance when you were a teenager, and you became quite a revelation. A return to Merseyside would complete your career cycle. But then again, apart from the publicity stunt and the buzz it is going to create, do they really need your services now?

Everton v Newcastle United : News Photo

They already have a world class striker who guarantees them at least 15 goals a season in Romelu Lukaku. But with your ex-team mate Morgan Schneiderlin doing well, you could be another big addition to their squad both on and off the pitch. 

Another one of your former teammates, Bastian Schweinsteiger, has joined the likes Ricardo Kaka, Andrea Pirlo, and David Villa in the MLS. These are just a few of the legendary players who have decided to give it a go in the United States. You could be yet another addition to this group of elite players who are doing pretty well in the West. 

The MLS was once termed a Mickey Mouse League, but not anymore. The increased standard of the games have had a major effect on it’s increasing popularity along with the big names coming in. You could make quite an impression on the American audience Wayne!   

China is another potential destination, of course. They can make the highest paid footballer in England even richer. There are a few big names trading their sport in the Asian continent. The likes of Oscar and Ezequiel Lavezzi were willing to go after the money even while providing satisfactory performances for their respective big-name clubs. 

But with a move to the continent, you do realise your career as a professional footballer could be essentially over. But then again, the extra money wouldn’t hurt. 

Or perhaps, you can stay on at Manchester United? Big club, big players, big manager, big team, yet Manchester United are definitely not at their best. They are still going through a transition period. But Jose has been giving the young lads chances. The likes of Rashford and Martial can definitely learn from a legend like you.

You can help the kids evolve. You can help the team evolve and regain all it’s lost glory. But this would mean you compromising on your match time. Jose would definitely give you chances, but would you won’t be the first name on the team sheet.  

There are millions who want you to stay and millions who want you to leave. But then again, everyone has the same respect towards you. Even the greatest of players have to make a decision when they know their performance levels are dropping. No matter what decision you make, the world will always hail a champion like you.


A Manchester United fan.

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