The Early Sub: Rooney’s United Ultimatum and What Lies Ahead

It happens very often with some of the biggest clubs on the planet and it seems to happen all the time at Manchester United. The freezing of a legendary player who’s past his prime and can’t perform at the United level. Quite frankly Wayne Rooney is a man who can’t do it at the Premier League level anymore. He’s still Wayne Rooney who was a thunderous right foot and can still create an attack for his side but he’s lost a step and has had trouble keeping up at the English top flight. His time at United has come now that he’s shattered Sir Bobby Charlton’s record and Jose Mourinho is showing him the door, but what’s ahead for the United and English legend and what path is best for him?


Stay and Earn His Spot

This was mentioned by Phil Neville and it’s the most horrid idea that I’ll bring up in this article. Rooney has been fighting for his spot on the side since 2014. Moyes and Van Gaal stubbornly played him over other strikers and midfielders that may have benefitted from the minutes he was taking. Maybe more Di Maria and Falcao is what United needed instead of plugging Rooney even further into different schemes with different lineups. He’s been obsolete from the United side since 2013 and that’s just how it is. He should have been at Everton the past couple years but he chose to fight for his spot, and now there’s even less reason to fight for his spot. Staying at United would be a foolish decision, not only would Rooney not see time on the field, he won’t even be selected on the bench and he’ll take a pay cut.


Return to Everton

Rooney took England by storm when breaking through with the Toffees in the early 2000s and it’s what garnered his move to United. 5 Premier Leagues, 2 League Cups, an FA Cup and a Champions League later, it may be time to return. It would be the storybook ending for Wayne who still may have a couple years left of top football since he’s still only 31. He doesn’t play at a high level and he may not see too many first team minutes with Everton but he would be a sub and a guide to many of Everton’s young talents including Lukaku and Barkley. Everton would not be the move if Wayne wanted minutes however, Ronald Koeman has big aspirations for Everton and he won’t allow a past his prime legend to halt his march up the English ladder. Going back to Everton would be nothing more then a glorious homecoming for Wayne and a last chance at the Premier League. The minutes won’t come to him though, and neither will the paycheck that China is offering.



Now for the most talked about, most likely, and perhaps best thing for Wayne. China is a growing league with many players who played in Europe’s top competitions. Alumni of the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 are laced all over China and Rooney would really help with the rising talent of the Chinese Super League. Rooney may not be the young boy who dominated England for years, but he’d still be a worthy adversary against any side in any league. He’d also ride into the sunset by retiring from the largest competitions on the planet and by receiving a fat old Chinese check that all these stars are getting. I can’t help but get a sour taste by knowing that Wayne Rooney is flying off the Far East at 31. If anything, he should at least finish this season before leaving for China. He’s not good enough for the best of the Premier League anymore, but letting Rooney walk to China this early would be a crime.

Manchester United v Stoke City - Premier League


This one’s for the Americans. All the Americans are crying for Rooney to come to MLS (including me) and follow the footsteps of Gerrard, Lampard and Drogba. MLS is a lot like China excluding the check in the way that many past their prime stars come to the MLS to end their careers. MLS is still a competitive and worthy league for anyone but they don’t cut the check that China does. Perhaps Rooney could go to China for a couple years and if he still has it, he could come to MLS after. I JUST REALLY WANT HIM TO JOIN BECKHAM IN MIAMI OKAY.

Wayne Rooney

Final Verdict

As much as I love homecomings, Rooney would not be much happier at Everton then he would be at United. If he can’t handle being on the bench now, he’s going to throw a fit at Everton. He really should go to Everton, be a mentor to the young guys and play his last good couple years being an impact sub before going to MLS for the last 2 years of his career.  He should follow the steps of the Premier League legends before him but let’s be real. He probably thinks his career is over and it’s time to go somewhere less competitive where he doesn’t have to sit for months on end. MLS would be the dream for me but he’s staring at the moneybags that China offers with envy. He could potentially be the highest paid player on the planet and it’s so hard to turn that down. Rooney will leave for China either this month or this summer.


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