Wayne Rooney is an England great, says Harry Redknapp

The former Spurs boss feels the Manchester United striker's legacy isn't in doubt.

Harry Redknapp has hailed Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney as an England great, citing his goal-scoring record as all the evidence that is required.

“Wayne Rooney is up there with Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Charlton as an England great – a look at his record tells you that,” wrote Redknapp on Kicca.

“Whether he breaks the record tonight against Switzerland is neither here nor there, what is clear is that he will become the first Englishman to score 50 international goals and that’s a great achievement.

“He’s only 29 and has a few good years left in the tank so I can see him go on to score at least 60, maybe more,” he added.

Rooney has been much-maligned in recent seasons, with suggestions that his influence is waning for both club and country, but his international goal-scoring record speaks for itself.

Comparing greats in different eras is always fraught with difficulty but Charlton’s achievement is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he wasn’t a striker, and the United legend is rightly held in even higher esteem because of this.

The quality of opposition has also been used as a tool to diminish Rooney’s achievements, with modern international teams taking part in far more friendlies and qualifying games against poor opposition.

It’s an argument which is hard to justify, given a player can only compete with what’s in front of him. One criticism levelled at the 29-year old which holds a bit more weight, however, is the fact that he has never really produced the goods for the Three Lions at a major tournament.

Euro 2004 seemed to be his for the taking before injury scuppered those hopes, and Redknapp feels the extent to which he was missed shows his importance to the team, adding: “If there’s one negative it’s that he’s never really done it at major tournament. He was great at Euro 2004, just after he burst on the scene, but when he got injured at that tournament it seemed as if England had no Plan B.

“That shows just how long Rooney’s been the team’s main man and how important he is to the side.”

The mercurial striker has failed to replicate his Euro 2004 form in subsequent tournaments and with the twilight of his career fast approaching, Euro 2016 could be a case of now or never for Wayne Rooney.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch