Wayne Rooney has been regarded as England’s best player and one of the best forwards in the world by many. It is not surprising then that Rooney is the third highest-paid footballer in the world after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with an annual income of £18 million, including sponsorship deals. After his arrival from Arsenal in the summer of 2012, Robin van Persie eclipsed Rooney as Manchester United’s main man upfront. Because of competition for places within the team, a dip in form and an alleged uncertainty over his future, Rooney managed only 22 starts in the 2012-13 season (in all he played for 2019 minutes, well below his average playing time in the last 5 years). Sir Alex Ferguson publicly accepted that Wayne Rooney had handed a transfer request and asked to be dropped for the subsequent tie to give him time to think about his future.
Reports in the media have linked Rooney with a move to Arsenal, Chelsea, PSG, Monaco, Real Madrid and even Manchester City. Betting giants bet fair have Rooney at 6/5 to leave Manchester United this summer so you can see . It was reported that United were considering a Swap deal (Wayne Rooney plus cash) for Manchester City’s Joe Hart. The rumors were put to rest after it was revealed that Hart is happier at Eastlands and will stay on under boss-in-waiting Manuel Pellegrini following the decision to sack Mancini.
Arséne Wenger and José Mourinho are both huge admirers of Rooney and it is believed that the player will himself prefer staying in England than to move abroad.
[quote]Rooney is the biggest England talent I’ve seen since I arrived in England. There has certainly not been a player under 20 as good as him since I became a manager here.
Arsene Wenger speaking to the BBC on Rooney following his last minute goal against Arsenal in October 2002[/quote]
The biggest obstacle for Arsenal in signing Wayne Rooney is his wage, estimated to be over £250,000 a week. This is more than the combined weekly salary of two of Arsenal’s highest earners. After getting rid of the ‘dead wood’, Arsenal could pay upto £200,000 a week and a transfer fee of £25 million, a figure that Chelsea could easily match (and even better) if he is made available. There could be an interesting bidding war from the two London clubs for Rooney’s signature and the onus may lie on the player himself to choose his destination.
With an in-depth analysis of Wayne Rooney’s Stats in the last 5 years, I will try to show just what he could bring to a club like Arsenal and even Chelsea for that matter who clearly need an established striker to replace Fernando Torres.
In the last 5 years, Rooney has on an average played 30 league games (approximately 2414 minutes) per season. His disciplinary record has also been quite exceptional with only one red card in the league in the last 5 years and a yellow card every 870 mintues (or roughly close to 9 and a half games). His best season was without a doubt the 2011-12 season when he ended the league as the 2nd highest goal scorer, behind Robin van Persie. In that particular season, Rooney made 34 appearances for Manchester United in the Premier League, played for 2839 minutes and was booked only once. In 2012-13 season however, Rooney started only 22 of the 38 games for Manchester United.
Any one who watches Rooney regularly will say that he gives it his all whenever he plays. Whether it is defending, setting up a team-mate or pressing forward, Rooney does it with zeal and has a presence defensively as well as in advanced positions. When deployed on the flanks, Rooney assists the full backs and provides resilience and speed while defending against quality and quick Wingers. On an average, Rooney has attempted 203 ground duels every season (more than 6 per game) with a success percentage of 35.8. The above mentioned defense stats are exceptional for a player playing in an advanced position with Rooney’s best defensive record coming in the 2011-12 season.
Let us now focus on the stats for Possession and Interceptions:
On an average, Rooney has had 1864 touches every season (0.86 touches per minute on the field), out of which only 1.29% have been unsuccessful, he has been dispossessed only 67 times per season and over-run the ball a total of 1o times in the last 5 seasons. These stats show the control that he has over the ball. His contribution in terms of possession won in the defensive 3rd, mid-field and attacking 3rd is equally impressive. His best season in this particular analysis is again the 2011-12 season.
Moving on to passing zone, let us see how he fares in terms of accuracy of passing and crossing:
In the last 5 years, Wayne Rooney has on an average attempted 1295 passes with an incredible accuracy of over 78%. Rooney has a passing accuracy of 90% in his own half and 70% in the attacking half, all 3 among the top 10 in the top 5 leagues of Europe for a forward. He has also put in nearly 447 crosses in the last 5 years, out of which nearly 95 were accurate. This shows his versatility and ability to operate anywhere across the forward line with equal success.
Coming to the final part, let us now consider the most important aspect of this Analysis: Rooney’s Creativity and Attacking Zone performance.
In 9 years at Manchester United, Wayne Rooney has scored more than 200 goals in all competitions (141 goals in the PL in 277 appearances, an average of 0.51 goals per appearance). In the last 5 years, he has scored 87 goals in 151 appearances (0.58 goals per appearance and a goal every 154 mins). He scored 27 goals in 34 appearances in 2011-12 (0.8 goals per game and a goal every 105 mins, incredible!!!). On an average, he creates a chance every 42.42 minutes (12% of the chances created are clear-cut) and has an impressive dribbling accuracy of 52.2%. Rooney takes a shot a little over every 19 minutes with an accuracy of 50.8 %. In terms of assists, Rooney provides a goal assist every 469 minutes. His best season in this regards was the 2012-13 season when he contributed 10 assists (an assist every 202 minutes). This particular season however saw a dip in the number of goals scored as Rooney managed to find the back of the net on only 12 occasions, 15 less than what he managed in the previous season.
To conclude, there is no doubt that Wayne Rooney is one of the best players in English football. Whether playing in the hole, on the flanks or as a striker, Rooney’s contribution to the team is highly significant. At 27, he still has many more good seasons left in him and the desire to win more trophies. His departure may hurt United more than they are expecting and will surely boost the attack of a team like Arsenal who lack experience and quality in the that department. With his ability to play anywhere across the forward line, Rooney could be used either on the flanks, as a sole striker in a 4 – 2 – 3 – 1 or as one of the two strikers in a 4 – 4 – 2 formation. After the departure of RvP, Arsenal need an iconic and inspirational signing to not only please the fans but also compete for trophies. Given his iconic status in England, a move for Rooney will be a step in the right direction and also ease the pain of losing their talisman to their bitter rivals. A lot depends on Rooney’s desire, whether he wants to play for another club in England, look for new challenges elsewhere or make more money by signing for a club like PSG. Personally, I would love to see Rooney play in England and hope the Arsenal management acts quickly to make a bid for him if and when he is made available for transfer.
Please note that all inferences made, are based purely on Statistics, which may not always correlate with the actual performance of the player. Some of you may have a different point of view or may look at the statistics differently, so feel free to share it with me here or on twitter ( @SilverHawk_24 ). Until next week, this is me signing off.
[box_light]All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.[/box_light]