Wayne Rooney has filled plenty of column inches over the past few months after replacing Sir Bobby Charlton as England’s all-time highest goalscorer.
The Manchester United is yet to touch 30, and to achieve such a record, is a great deal. To outscore the likes of Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves, Michael Owen and Alan Shearer is pretty good going.
However, while he is breaking record after record for England, he has struggled to leave his mark on United so far this season. Having been trusted with leading the Red Devils, following the sales of Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez this summer, as well as Radamel Falcao’s loan deal ending, Rooney hasn’t had a good start to the season.
So far this campaign, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Anthony Martial are the only current squad players to have scored in the league.
Rooney has yet to register a goal or assist, but came close to scoring against Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of the season but Kyle Walker got there first and put the ball in the back of his own net.
For United’s 3-1 win over Liverpool Rooney was injured after picking up a hamstring injury in training. In his absence, United played well, and finally won a game by scoring more than one goal. Even with Marouane Fellaini starting up front, Liverpool approached the game in an incredibly defensive manner, yet Blind and Martial were able to score, with Herrera converting the penalty he won.
Martial is the most expensive teenager in football history and did well to get the critics off his back on his debut. Taking on three defenders to score in front of the Stretford End against the club’s hated rivals is a pretty fantastic way to start your career at United. The fact that he bagged two more in the win at Southampton means there really is a buzz around him at the moment.
Van Gaal has previously claimed that he wouldn’t leave his captain out of the starting line-up, but there are questions over whether Rooney is suitable to play up top. His best position is a number 10, so there are suggestions he should play behind the main striker, which should be Martial.
However, the inclusion of Rooney would likely mean the exclusion of Mata, Herrera or Memphis Depay. But Rooney tends to go through periods of better form, where he scores regularly, and Van Gaal will be hoping he can start off a good run very soon.