Chelsea have been very public in their pursuit of Rooney so far this summer with Jose Mourinho suggesting that a third bid for the forward will be made before the close of the summer transfer window.
The saga has put David Moyes in a difficult position as United prepare for the clash against Chelsea this evening, with Rooney a very important player for the Premier League champions in such a match up.
Moyes has a couple of choices over how to use Rooney ahead of the match with the most prominent being playing him alongside van Persie in a two man attack.
Rooney is certainly a good enough player to play the number ten role although it’s a job that Ryan Giggs did admirably during United’s opening season win away at Swansea City.
Rooney is very professional in the respect that he will always run his socks off for United, regardless of what’s going on away from the pitch, so if Moyes has worries over how he goes into the game mentally, then they are needless.
The importance for United of having a reliable attacking player at the top of their midfield unit this evening is massive and Rooney could be used alongside van Persie when United are on top over the course of the 90 minutes.
What’s more likely is that Rooney will be used off the bench with Moyes sticking with van Persie as the sole striker in attack and packing the midfield to try and compensate for Chelsea’s gifted midfield unit.
The problem with that is that it may just further alienate Rooney in relation to the club because he’s made it clear he wants to be a prominent player, used in big games and doesn’t want to be seen as back up to van Persie.
Another possible option for Moyes is to simply leave Rooney out of proceedings, taking the question of how he will react and how he will play out of the equation.
However, considering how important Rooney can be in big games, his experience and his quality, it would be extremely counterproductive not to have him involved.
That’s also the sort of decision which could backfire in the respect that Rooney may see it as a blatant sign that Moyes doesn’t have confidence in his ability to maintain that professional element which he showed against Swansea, despite a reluctance to celebrate.
A lot of Rooney’s apparent problems with United seem to be about how he’s used and his status when the big games come around.
Moyes is certainly not naïve enough to consider the option of leaving him out altogether for very long because that could have a ‘final nail in the coffin’ effect, possibly prompting an official request from Rooney to try and force a move away from the club by the close of play next Monday.
How do you think Rooney will be used this evening?
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