After a long slumber, the rumors linking Wayne Rooney to D.C. United are back, and they appear stronger than ever. With the prospect of the Everton man and all-time leading scorer for England joining the Black-and-Red looking to be a serious possibility, we checked in with Chris from Royal Blue Mersey about who Rooney is as a player right now:
Let there be no mistake, Wayne Rooney can still hit a ball sweeter than most players many years his junior. Rooney understands the game better than most, and can still pick out a pass, too. Rooney’s legendary finishing ability hasn’t left him, nor has his footballing brain.
There’s just the one problem: He can’t move. Rooney’s 32 years old, and has been playing Premier League football for exactly half of his life. That takes a toll on your legs, and in turn does away with your ability to play midfield or do any sort of defending at all. He regularly commits needless fouls since he can’t keep up with the run of play, and has functioned as a turnstile in Everton’s midfield. Rooney’s no longer useful on counterattacks, either. In a league as energetic and physical as MLS, Rooney’s precipitous drop in physical ability would almost assuredly be his undoing.
To be successful in the United States, Rooney would likely need to play striker, which is where he started the season for Everton. Problem is, he ran out of gas there just four months into the Premier League season. He hasn’t scored a goal since December.
Star power? Check.
Dead-ball prowess? Check.
Running, defending, and creating space? Sorry. You’re out of luck.