The Wayne Rooney transfer is fast approaching a thrilling climax. It’s got the perfect anatomy of a typical mega transfer in modern day football. Current manager messing it up in media, issuing the customary ‘not for sale’ message, bidding manager piling pressure on the situation at every opportunity, player keeping silent while his friends and family are talking, player using the social network to convey hidden messages – it’s got it all. And all this happening in the open world for the global media to report completes the checklist.
I’m looking to address some key questions regarding this trasnfer. Firstly, do Chelsea need him. Even if we need him, does he still have potential. If he does, do Chelsea fans want him. Even if they don’t, why would Jose want him. And finally, what’s the worth of the man. Let’s look at it one by one.
Do Chelsea need Rooney?
Chelsea’s strike force is weak. We’ve got Torres, Demba Ba and Lukaku but still it looks weak. Torres blows hot and cold and doesn’t look like a 30-goals-a-season striker no matter how his stars are going to look like. He’s a great asset on the pitch but his finishing and the attributes around finishing require a re-invention.
Demba Ba was always meant to be a squad player. Quite often a lost figure on the pitch and pops up with a cracker just when we wonder if he’s on the bench or on the pitch. Never the quality to lead Chelsea strikeforce. As I mentioned before, Lukaku in West Brom could be a very proposition from Lukaku at Chelsea. Fans/media is different, the way the opponents play is different, the manager demands are different and the objectives are different. He has great potential but not going to lead the Chelsea line this season, if we want to win the league.
Let’s get our objectives straight. We want to win the premier league. We struggled to finish third last season. So we need a step change in every department to be able to push above the Manchester clubs.
We need a marquee striker. A striker that would strike fear in the opposition ranks. A striker that can comfortably lead the Chelsea charge with the quality that can put us a favourite for the premier league title. We need a proven premier league striker. There’s not many that fit the bill as Wayne Rooney.
This Chelsea team has not only been going down on average age. It’s also going down on weight and strength. We are getting lighter and lighter. The premier league hasn’t changed. We need to add some strength in our team. Wayne Rooney fits the bill, once again.
Does Rooney still have potential?
Rooney is 27. I personally think it’s silly that some people say his best days are behind him. In the last two seasons, Rooney has 59 goals and 20 assists in 87 starts. Of which, in the last season, which was supposed to be his sunset season, he has 22 goals and 14 assists in 37 starts. If this is the stat of a player that’s past his best, I’m happy with his ‘post-best’ potential. At 27, you can say his best years of his careeer will be the next 2-3 years. At least that’s what I say.
If a 29-year old RvP can move to a rival and have a significant influence on the title win, definitely Wayne Rooney also can. The man is a winner. He has the winning mentality and never-say-die attitude. I truly believe he’s not treated properly at Man Utd. They are making a big mistake with the way they are handling him. I think if he moves to Chelsea and starts working under Jose Mourinho (a manager he seems to have an admiration for), he will find his drive and enthusiasm back. As Jose said, Rooney, like him, needs happiness to perform.
He’s an English player and that does come with some advantages. If he were to join Chelsea at this stage, he might as well retire here. He doesn’t seem to want to leave England. He can feel very settled here. London is a great city to live for him and his family. Plus he already has good relationships with the other english Chelsea players like Terry, Cole & Lampard. He’s a long time colleague for our England players.
Why does Jose Mourinho like him?
I think it’s important to know why Jose Mourinho likes him. For the kind of adulation that Jose has with Chelsea fans, if he wants a player so much, there should be a good reason. Right from the 2004-05 season, Jose Mourinho has been quite open about his admiration for Wayne Rooney. He’s always been a fan of Rooney and only now he’s got the opportunity to get him to play under him. I think what appeals to Jose is Rooney’s incredible talent, versatility, teamwork, physicality and work rate. Rooney is like Jose’ dream player.
Rooney is a complete forward player – can dribble around, can hold up the ball, has a great long shot, brilliant finisher inside the box, shoots with both feet and has a powerful header and has in him an award winning bicycle kick too. Technically, he’s brilliant. Apologies to England fans, I’d also say technically he is so unEnglish.
Rooney is also quite versatile. He can play upfront or he can play second striker or he can even play as the centre attacking midfielder or sometimes even deeper. For a manager like Jose whose needs tactically adaptable players, Rooney is a delight. His team work is undoubtable. He’s been quietly playing as a team player in Man Utd for several seasons. He’s extremely unselfish. Even in the last season where there were doubts about his future at Man Utd, he was still supporting and assisting RvP like he’s always done.
Mourinho does like strong players. Players who would give a tough fight in physical battles. That’s one way of showing how much you want to win and how much you’re in the fight. Rooney has that physicality. He’s an interesting combination of technique and physicality. And his workrate. Rooney is a tireless player. He does have his moments where he throws up his arms in the air but which player doesn’t. He’s a real work horse. Can do the running of two players and drop back to defend when the team needs that.
If you could construct a Jose Mourinho type forward player, he would be Wayne Rooney.
Do Chelsea fans like him?
It’s a bit surprising that some Chelsea fans don’t want him here. For all the reasons mentioned above, I think he would be an amazing signing for Chelsea. What an opportunity to strengthen yourself by weakening your rival. If the reluctance is purely from the fact that he played for our rival, we should get a move on.
As far as I’m aware, Rooney is a good professional (on the scale of football professionals). He’s well behaved on the pitch. He’s very obedient and subordinate for the kind of talent he has. He’s done nothing to generate the hate that some Chelsea fans show towards him. I’d be very keen to know some of us don’t want Rooney.
That said, there are many many Chelsea fans that can’t wait to see this happen. He’s got a great fan following – not just from his club but from football fans in general.
What is his worth?
All is well only if he comes at the right price. Chelsea have made two bids of £25m and £30m. In my mind, we can go upto £40m for Rooney. That’s only £5m more than Andy Carroll and in fact £10m less than Torres. Well the prices in the market have moved since the Torres-Carroll transfer two years back. These days, a player that’s won nothing even at the age of 24 and have hardly been tested in Europe are going for more than £120m. Rooney has won almost everything there’s to be won at club level. He’s a champion.
For many Chelsea fans, his wages are a concern. He’s certainly one of the best paid footballers. I’ll have no problem with that if he’s going to lead us to the premier league title. And since I think he will, I have no problem with that. If a debt-ridden Man Utd can afford that wages for a second choice player that they want to hold on to, we can match that.
Remember, Wayne Rooney is a massive commercial brand in England, Europe and in world football. He’s an icon. No premier league player has sold more shirts than Wayne Rooney. His moving to Chelsea will start a flurry of shirt sales and that will continue and only rise if we were to win the title with him. So, yes he’s expensive and most often, you get what you pay for.
Let’s just sign him!
In football, you do have some players that you would long to see in your club colours. For me, many such players have gone past Chelsea without signing for us. Sometimes there may not even be a good sporting case or a business case to sign that player. But your heart so wants him to sign for your club. Many Chelsea fans I know have always wanted us to sign players like Kaka and they still do, just to see their icon playing for their club.
For me, Wayne Rooney is quite a similar case. I’ve been a long time admirer of Rooney. I’ve always respected him for his talent and his personality. He is one player I would love to Chelsea colours. Though I’ve tried to put together a case in favour of his signing, the reality is I want him at Chelsea. Simple as that.
Wayne Rooney in 2012/13