A lot of weird things have happened recently: Alex Ferguson decided to retire although he could have had at least ten more years of shouting at referees and throwing boots at his players, Arsenal fans actually hoped that the Chavs would win a game and Wayne Rooney was linked with possible transfer to Arsenal.
There are some things that made people believe Rooney is finally leaving United after years of threatening to do so.
First of all, one of the rare persons in the world that could deal with Rooney left the managerial throne at United and retired. Despite all the influence Ferguson will non-desputably have in United even following retirement, it won’t be the same like he was in charge.
Secondly, the person that is going to replace Ferguson is his compatriot David Moyes. Moyes was the first manager in Rooney’s professional career while Rooney was playing for Everton but in 2007 two of them ended in court due to some claims Rooney wrote in his autobiography regarding Moyes. The Scottish manager won the case but he might lose one of his best players.
Thirdly, Rooney removed the mark “Manchester United player” from his Twitter-profile and left “Nike athlete”.
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Fourthly, he has been in an awkward position at United this season. The arrival of Van Persie moved Rooney from attack to midfield and – due to tactical reasons – he was left out from the starting 11 in the most important match of the season against Real Madrid in favour of Danny Welbeck. Although Rooney has done his job in the midfield relatively well, the new United boss is looking for new midfielders (one of them is Marouane Fellaini who has been used as an attacking midfielder at Moyes’ Everton) while United’s attack will get some fresh blood in Wilfried Zaha and – possibly – Robert Lewandowski. With Van Persie probably taking the award for the best goal-scorer in the Premiership for the second time in a row, it’s highly unlikely that Rooney would find himself in the starting line-up for the next season at Old Trafford.
Now, why Arsenal should sign Rooney? There are a few reasons PRO as well as CONTRA.
1.Rooney is a world-class player.
Nobody should question this. His technique and ability to pass the ball would please any manager in the world while his shooting ability from free-kicks and open play make him difficult to stop. He is strong as an ox and can successfully play in both midfield and attack. He works hard on the pitch and his talent caught the eye of Arsene Wenger who said that he has never seen a more talented player than Rooney while Rooney was only 16.5-years-old. He has performed well in very important matches for United.
Our team lacked a world-class player in attack, especially in big matches (only six points out of possible 30 against the Top 6), and with Rooney that wouldn’t be the case.
2.Rooney is a jinx-player for us.
Gooners usually point out Drogba as the player that has caused us the most problems in recent years but Rooney isn’t far from the Ivorian. The first goal in Rooney’s professional career was a screamer that ended our 30-game-unbeaten streak. His 100th goal in a United shirt was against us as well as his 100th goal in the Premiership. He scored a hat-trick (two free-kicks and penalty) against us in our 8:2 defeat in 2011 and was the first player to score a goal at the Emirates in duels between Arsenal and FAnchester United. In the first duel against United this season, it was Rooney who stopped Arteta and nullified our quality in central midfield while in the reverse fixture he nearly assisted Giggs for the winning goal with a perfect long ball but the lack of pace from the aging Welshman and a safe reaction from Szczesny kept us alive.
If we sign Rooney, that would be killing two birds with one stone like when Ferguson signed RvP.
3.Rooney would fit into our British-core-policy.
We have been British-oriented lately with our young guns Jenkinson, Gibbs, Wilshere, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott signing new contracts with Arsenal. Granted, Rooney is older than the aforementioned players but at only 27-year-old he is still far from retirement.
4.After Ferguson retired, there is only one manager in the whole England that could deal with Rooney – Arsene Wenger.
Van Persie, Nasri and Adebayor have more than one thing in common. Apart from being mercenaries who turned their backs on the club and manager that promoted them to the highest level, they also brought a heavy luggage with them when they joined Arsenal. Rooney has had his share of scandals ever since he has been in the Premiership and it requires a special person on the bench to handle him. Ferguson was capable of showing patience and even weird compromises with Rooney when it was needed. Arsene Wenger has been there in the past with the likes of the aforementioned traitors and he managed to get best possible performances out of them. If there is anyone who can deal with Rooney, it’s Wenger.
5.Rooney stated some respect to Arsenal fans on Twitter recently.
On April 28th, Rooney tweeted: “Big thx to arsenal players and fans for guard of honour. Respect” (sic!). Now, nobody should expect Rooney to write a Shakespeare but it might be a step in the direction of pleasing Arsenal fans.
6.A possible first-option clause that’s inside the contract between Arsenal and United when they bought Van Persie
Read allArsenal’s article.
7.England’s familiar territory for Rooney.
This one can be seen from two different angles. Rooney would have to adapt to France (PSG), Spain (Barcelona/Madrid) or Germany (Bayern) while in England he wouldn’t need to.
8.It would be a marquee-signing we need and revenge for taking Van Persie.
We need to make a statement that we are still one of the biggest clubs in the world and to sign a player of Rooney’s stature would be a massive step forward. To mock Manure fans after taking Rooney from them wouldn’t be a bad thing either!
However, a departure from England might place some of the burden off Rooney’s back.
1.His dive against us to end our 49-game-unbeaten streak.
We all know how Mike Riley managed to put an end to our unbeaten streak. Rooney did his part in that one with a dive that allowed Van Nistelrooy to score an opener from the spot.
2.He won’t get any leniency from the referees in an Arsenal shirt.
Rafael received the first red card for United in the Premiership for 560 days in Sunday’s match against Chelsea. Rooney is a player whose combative spirit might get him in trouble if referees follow rules strictly and he tasted it in the 2006 World Cup when England lost to Portugal after Rooney got sent off.
3.His wages are way over our current league.
Rooney apparently earns 250,000 pounds per week at United. That is 2.5 times more than our reportedly highest earners (Walcott, Podolski?). It is highly unlikely that Wenger would break our tight wage structure for any player on this planet including Rooney.
4.Possible reluctance from United to sell one of their best players to their domestic arch-rivals.
One of the reasons why United have had a lot of success during our dry spell without trophies is the fact they – unlike us – haven’t sold their best players to their domestic rivals. If Moyes wants to keep his job, he has to win trophies and to sell one of your best players to your rivals isn’t exactly the best way to start.
5.Rooney is a Nike athlete.
Nike won’t be our kit designer for too long as Puma are set to take over. Given that Rooney is a Nike athlete, it is highly unlikely that he would sign for a club that wears equipment from a different manufacturer. That practically leaves Arsenal, Chelsea and Bayern out of race for the Englishman.
That also means there are two strong candidates for Rooney’s signature: PSG and Barcelona. Both clubs have been connected with Rooney in the past and both clubs have Nike equipment. PSG have David Beckham in their ranks so he might lure Rooney to PSG. On the other side, Barcelona need some fresh blood and Rooney might be a good reinforcement. Given that the Parisians have more money to splash on Rooney, Paris is probably Rooney’s next destination.
Conclusion: if I were Wenger, I’d sign Rooney…if we can’t get Cavani, Falcao, Lewandowski or Benzema in the first instance.