Why Manchester United Must Get a New Deal for Wayne Rooney

Greg Johnson@gregianjohnsonSpecial to Bleacher ReportNovember 15, 2013

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 05:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Real Sociedad de Futbol and Manchester United at Estadio Anoeta on November 5, 2013 in San Sebastian, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Back in the summer, Wayne Rooney looked to be on his way out of Old Trafford with Sir Alex Ferguson heading into retirement announcing that the Englishman had requested a transfer.

Now four months on, the former Everton starlet has risen once again from adversity to become Manchester United's most vital player.

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

David Moyes poured a sizeable amount of time and energy into retaining Rooney over the summer, a decision that left some fans perplexed given the forward's sluggish form and bloated appearance in the recent year.

Yet as another international break offers the Premier League time and space to reflect on the season so far, it is United's striker-cum-midfielder who is currently outshining the player most supporters hailed as one of the greatest transfer coups of all time in Arsenal's Mesut Ozil.

According to WhoScored.com, the German playmaker has racked up four assists and two goals in 15 games. By contrast, Rooney is ahead with seven goals and seven assists in 14 games.

Mesut Ozil didn't like the look of those stat lines either.
Mesut Ozil didn't like the look of those stat lines either.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

No wonder United are reportedly offering him a new four-year contract thought to be worth £250,000 per week, per James Dickenson for The Daily Express.

Another four years of Rooney may be too much for those still sore over his past transgressions and disloyalty, but it will be a major act of reconciliation between a player and a club who seemed to be locked in a Cold War-era shadow conflict back in August.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Wayne Rooney (R) and Robin van Persie of Manchester United talk during a training session ahead of their Champions League Group A match against Shakhtar Donetsk at their Carrington Training Complex on October 01, 2013 in
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Since then he has been something of a talisman during the injury absence of Robin van Persie, with whom he has also begun to build the partnership many analysts predicted would form following the Dutchman's arrival last year.

Yet Rooney still remains frustrating at times, and even against Arsenal, besides the corner delivery that set up van Persie for the winning goal, the forward's first touch looked off, stagnating transitions and causing United's play to stutter and break up rather than flow.

There remains a risk that his current condition is a temporary burst to attract suitors or gain a new deal rather than a signal that his best form has returned for good.

Some still want to see United move on from the player whose work-rate, if not his technique, has so often been a catalyst to help those around him raise their game.

Critics cite the lack of games afforded to Shinji Kagawa in the hole as a reason to drop or sell Rooney, while the need to keep Javier Hernandez happy with regular first team football has lead to suggestions the England international should give way.

It's impossible to dismiss the impact he has had this season however, and with so much transition swirling around Old Trafford following the departure of Sir Alex, David Gill, Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and other key figures, maintaining some form of continuity may help Moyes settle.

Another possibility for the conspiracy theorists is that a new deal pumps up the fee United can demand off other clubs for Rooney's services in order to bankroll a major redevelopment of the squad, much like the renovation job undertaken by Tottenham Hotspur, paid for by Gareth Bale's sale.

Players such as Arturo Vidal, Cesc Fabregas, Mats Hummels and other world stars will not come cheap should Moyes decide he needs to bring in proven class to replace or back up Michael Carrick, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs.

Whether a new deal for Rooney reinforces his status as a United icon, adds value to a potential sale or gives the club security over their prized asset, it's a landmark that must be passed in order to give Moyes the power and agency to steady the ship and look to the future.


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