How much do Manchester United need Rooney?

Wayne Rooney is currently linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed all claims that the Red Devils’ striker could be sold.

Meanwhile, there are mixed messages coming out of Paris where the PSG project continues in its’ quest to lure mega-stars of world football to the Parc des Princes.

Back in Manchester, there are considerable options for Ferguson at Manchester United. Wednesday evening’s 2-2 draw with West Ham saw Rooney withdrawn after 71 minutes as United searched for an equalizer.

That equalizer eventually came via a Robin van Persie strike, which was offside but, nonetheless, United emerged from the clash with a point as they continue their title march.

Rooney has had a transitional season in many ways. The arrival of Van Persie has seen the Englishman converted from a striker to an attacking midfielder – a trequartista of sorts and even a playmaker at times.

His exceptional ability has meant he has adapted well but his own form and confidence has suffered as a result. He’s made 34 appearances for the Red Devils, scored 16 goals and made 14 assists, which is an excellent return for an attacking midfielder.

However, Rooney has been capable of more than 30 goals per season – last term he made 44 appearances and scored 34 goals, which equals his previous best in 2009/10.

When he plays as a striker he is one of the most dangerous frontmen on the planet – as a playmaker, a traditional number 10, behind the Dutchman, he is just as important but Van Persie’s goals, on paper, overshadow Rooney’s influence on the pitch.

Meanwhile, Javier Hernandez has admitted his frustration at the lack of playing opportunities he’s afforded by Ferguson and Danny Welbeck is used as something more of a utility player.

How much do Manchester United need Wayne Rooney? They need him to create, they need him to finish, and they need him to lead – In my humble opinion, he is more important to the team than Van Persie.

However, because he is so important and because he has been accustomed to be being the main man for so long, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has considered a change of scenery.

It’s of the utmost importance that United keep Wayne Rooney – he cannot be replaced – and Ferguson must make it abundantly clear, as he has tried to, that the players is indispensable to the club.

If Rooney starts to feel in any way dejected, United will have a very big problem on their hands and that problem will come as music to the ears of people on the streets of Paris.

image: © Audrey Pilato

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