Thursday, April 15, 2021

Timing right for Wayne Rooney to leave the Premier League

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According to Sky Sports, Everton’s Wayne Rooney will officially complete a move to DC United later today. The 32-year-old is set to sign a three-and-half-year contract with the MLS outfit.

The deal has been in the pipeline for a couple of weeks. However, the striker has now secured a visa and a work permit to complete the move. It will be the end of an era for England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer.

Romantic return home did not work out

Wayne Rooney returned to boyhood club Everton last summer on a free transfer from Manchester United, where he had become a club and Premier League icon. In truth, Rooney struggled for form and fitness in his final few seasons at United.

In the end, many people connected with the club were happy for the forward to leave, as he was a shadow of the player who used to terrorise top-flight defences.

His return to Everton did not work out as planned, though, as the team’s poor start to the season saw the Toffees closer to the bottom of the table than the top. A slightly better run towards the end of the campaign saw the Merseysiders finish eighth-place in the Premier League table, just a place below the previous campaign.

Rooney’s signing was no doubt a romantic fantasy of Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, who loved the England forward and wanted to see him in a blue shirt once again. Despite the forward being Everton’s top scorer, he struggled to make an impact in his second coming on Merseysiders.

That Rooney’s prospective exit has not hit Evertonian’s that hard shows the forward’s lack of success in his second spell on Merseyside.

Rooney can enjoy his life in the USA

Wayne Rooney has been playing at the top level of football for half his life. The rewards of the lavish lifestyle maybe great, especially for a lad coming from a working-class background.

However, once you become a Premier League footballer, you almost become public property. You cannot go anywhere without people recognising you. Then there is the hounding from the press and paparazzi. Rooney also had the pressure of attempting to fulfil expectations, despite his body not being capable of producing at the highest level of the game anymore in the last few seasons.

In terms of football, MLS is not the same standard of football as the big European leagues. However, it is very physically demanding as the likes of Frank Lampard, and Steven Gerrard discovered in short spells in the US top-flight.

Rooney will be expected to produce in MLS, even if he does not play every minute in the physically demanding MLS. However, he will not be under the same sort of scrutiny he was at United or even indeed at Everton, on and off the field. He can still play football, but live his life in the US with a certain level of anonymity that he could never enjoy in England.

It seems a sensible move from the forward, as reportedly he was told by the clubs new managerial structure he was not part of their plans for next season.

DC United needs all the help they can get

Wayne Rooney will be unable to join the club from the US capital until the MLS transfer window opens on 10th July. However, DC are acting fast to secure the forward’s signature, as they have endured a torrid MLS campaign so far.

Ben Olsen’s team are currently bottom of the Eastern Conference, five points behind the team above them in the standings. United have a played far fewer games than the teams above them. However, a record of two wins from 12 games is still a poor one and DC are now odds of 250/1 to win the MLS Cup.

That seems like a highly unlikely feat. Not even the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi could resurrect DC’s hopes of finishing the campaign as US champions. However, everybody connected with the capital club will be hoping that Rooney’s arrival can revive their fortunes and in turn extend the players football career in the process.

Has Wayne Rooney made the right decision in moving to MLS?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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