A wave of recent speculation has suggested that Wayne Rooney, 27, will be leaving Old Trafford once the summer transfer market opens. This speculation has arisen ever since Rooney was excluded from the starting line-up in United’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on the 5th of March. The shock departure of Rooney, the United talisman, from the starting line-up to the bench was seen by many to indicate a fall from grace for the Englishman.
Due to Rooney’s high wages and struggle for form many believe that Sir Alex Ferguson may have decided that Rooney’s future lies away from the club, and that the funds gained from the sale could be put to good use in signing players more suited for the future.
Lewandowski, 24, is one of the names accredited with this role of taking Rooney’s place on Ferguson’s mantle. The Dortmund forward currently has many high profile clubs linked with him, one of which being Bundesliga giants, Bayern Munich. However if both clubs were to attempt to gain his signature, united are favourites with Lewandowski not wanting to damage his reputation with his current fans by moving to their rivals.
So what if United did sign Lewandowski?
Even if this became the case, Rooney would arguably still be needed at Old Trafford. I don’t believe Ferguson would feel the admittance of Lewandowski to the club in exchange for the departure of Rooney would add anything to his attacking options. Ferguson has always attempted to maintain a strong squad, as appose to a starting 11 and having the available players on the bench has always been key to his success.
Without Rooney, Lewandowski and van Persie would be the spearhead of United’s attack, however, the substitute role would fall on Hernandez and Welbeck.Welbeck doesn’t have that eye in front of goal that is needed to be the forward man for a team like United and for me seems more suited to a role like that of a CAM or an inside LW depending on formation. Hernandez on the other hand has proven to be particularly dangerous off the bench, however he is yet to do the same in the latter stages of the champions league, and whether he can or not is yet to be seen.
Furthermore, even with new arrivals, Rooney’s constant want to be involved in the game often forces him inwards as apposed to sitting up top waiting for the ball. In both a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 formation Rooney would suit perfectly the role of sitting in the middle of the park behind the strikers breaking up the opponents play in a CAM role. This would particularly suit a 4-3-3 formation with Cleverly and Carrick behind him protecting the CB’s. In this position he would be one of United’s most important players and it would balance his hunger for goals against his need to be in the thick of the action as often as possible.
For all of these reasons I find it hard to believe that Ferguson will relinquish the services of one the Premier League’s most iconic forwards. Especially not any time soon at least.