It’s looking more and more likely that Wayne Rooney is going to leave Manchester United with Jose Mourinho making it very clear that he wants the player and Arsenal’s interest lingering like a cat waiting to pounce.
Rooney’s desire to leave United seems to depend entirely on how he is going to be used in the team he joins, because it’s obvious he wants to be the main man in attack, sitting up front as a number nine which hasn’t been possible at Old Trafford due to the presence of Robin van Persie.
Chelsea definitely offer him a better chance of that role because looking at the other strikers at the club, there is no one who could strongly challenge Rooney for that role at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s system has been built around having one striker up front for a very long time and while Fernando Torres, Demba Ba, Andre Schurrle and Romelu Lukaku are all very good players in their own right, not one of them can play the number nine role as effectively as Rooney based on the recent past.
Rooney is also the sort of player who would be able to link up and work with the Chelsea midfield well, because he’s shown time and time again at Manchester United that he has all of the skills to be just as accurate and effective as the best midfielders in the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho would probably encourage him to let the midfield do more of the leg work, leaving him free to concentrate on scoring the goals but it’s significant because it shows he’s a very adaptable and versatile player for when Chelsea are under pressure.
Arsenal would also use him as a sole striker at the top of the attack but the problem Arsene Wenger has is that he already has a set of forwards at the club who all want to play the role that Rooney seems to crave.
Olivier Giroud is having a fantastic pre-season and Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott have both made their desire to play as the number nine for the club very clear. That set of players are just going to become increasingly confused and angry if the Gunners bring in a striker exclusively for the position they all covet.
The way Rooney would link up with the Arsenal midfield would probably be very similar to how he would link up with the middle of Chelsea’s team.
There would probably be a bigger risk of him playing out of position at Arsenal because Arsene Wenger has shown a tendency to use Lukas Podolski down the left at times.
He may stick Rooney out there occasionally as a way to balance the team and while Rooney has proven he will play any position he’s asked, it risks alienating him because his next move seems to hang on how much he’s going to be used as an outright striker.
Chelsea probably have the edge having landed the first blows but Arsenal under Wenger play some superb football and shouldn’t be overlooked but I’m going to stick my neck out and say it would be surprising if he’s not a Chelsea player by the end of the month.
Which team do you think would suit him more?
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