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How would a move to West Ham suit Wayne Rooney?

Tuesday 21st March 2017
It has been a difficult past few footballing years for Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United striker has seen his game time with his club curtailed due to injuries and other more useful players being preferred, while his last major tournament with England ended in an embarrassing defeat to Iceland last summer.

His troubles have continued into the current season too as nobody seems to know where his rightful place in the team is anymore: Is he a striker or a midfielder?

Perhaps the most important question is whether he is close to the team solely because he is the captain of Manchester United? He is of course the record scorer for both club and country, but most of his goals were scored when he was far younger and people recognised him as an out-and-out striker. Those times are gone now though.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the first-choice forward, with Marcus Rashford behind him and Anthony Martial a player that is more than willing to play up-front if he is given the chance. With the talismanic powers of the Swede and the pace and youth of the youngsters firmly between Rooney and a starting spot as striker, it has become evident that the Englishman's powers are waning.

This glut of capable strikers forces the question of whether Rooney can play behind the striker, and the answer is no. With Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba all fighting for the three spots behind the forward, it would be detrimental to the team to let Rooney play there as they all offer more than the Englishman does.

Therefore, while it is not a certainty yet, many people have come to the conclusion that Rooney's future lies away from Old Trafford.
While America and China will prove interesting propositions for the striker, today, Sky Sports News have reported that: "West Ham are interested in signing Wayne Rooney if Manchester United allow him to leave Old Trafford this summer".

This would be a very interesting move for Rooney. The forward has previously been linked with Everton, but there has been nothing particularly concrete to that story.

If Manchester United were to let Rooney leave for West Ham, how would he fit into the current Hammers' side?

Rooney is not a player that has any real pace, but he is very clever with his positional play. West Ham have not been particularly shy in front of goal this term finding the net 40 times in 29 games, however, if the Hammers are to break into the top six then they must find the net more regularly.

Rooney could be the man to do this for them. The forward has an innate ability to be in the right place at the right time, either in the box to tap home a cross, or on the edge of the area to take a touch and pick a pass or take a shot.

His goals speak for themselves too, having scored over 300 times for club and country. With Andy Carroll still struggling with injuries, Rooney would constitute a superb utility player that can fill in up-front or drop into midfield.

With West Ham desperate to improve season by season, it is vital for Slaven Bilic to continually add to the team with both experience and quality, and Rooney ticks both those boxes.

It remains to be seen whether United would allow Rooney to transfer to a team that has aspirations of usurping them to a European place. After all, Manchester United did this to great effect when they took Robin Van Persie from Arsenal and, with the striker in fine form the following season, they won the title.

Rooney still has a lot to offer and most teams in the Premier League would benefit from having him in their side. A leader, a scorer and a fantastic utility player, Rooney could prove to be a fantastic investment by West Ham.
Ben Darvill

I graduated with an upper second class degree in English and Creative writing from Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have been a freelance sports writer since leaving University and have written for a number of online websites. I am a Chelsea and England fan but I enjoy watching any team play as I have an intense passion for football.

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