Source: Wayne Rooney via Facebook
Wayne Rooney’s well-documented return to Old Trafford didn’t exactly go to plan for the former Red Devils striker. Manchester United’s all-time record goalscorer left for a romantic reunion with Everton this summer and football fans across the country were in expectant mood as the Toffees visited Old Trafford earlier this month. Rooney was substituted off to a standing ovation with Everton trailing 1-0; Ronald Koeman’s side went on to lose 4-0.
That isn’t to say that Rooney’s presence on the pitch would have affected the result. United were the better side on the day and nobody would question the final outcome of another home win for Jose Mourinho’s men. But the United fans were still happy enough to chant Rooney’s name – and rightly so. His final couple of years at Old Trafford were unsavoury at times but he should go down as one of the club’s greatest ever talents.

Rooney made 559 appearances during his tenure at Old Trafford, putting him sixth on the club’s all-time list. The likes of George Best, Mark Hughes, and Rio Ferdinand, all of whom are widely regarded as United greats, rank below Rooney in this particular category. In addition, Rooney is now the club’s record goalscorer with 253 goals – putting him above the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton.

But it isn't all about appearances and goals, of course. Conduct off the field is also important and you could argue that Rooney has let himself down on this front. According to numerous reports, the 31-year-old submitted two transfer requests during his United career, one of which could have seen the England star move to arch rivals Manchester City. For some fans, that was unforgivable and Rooney's reputation will forever be tarnished in their eyes. Nowadays, Romelu Lukaku is leading the line at Old Trafford and, like Rooney, he has also hit the ground running for the Red Devils. Cast your minds back to Rooney's debut against Fenerbahce; the teenager capped off a hat-trick with a free kick in front of the Stretford End. Lukaku is now one of the leading candidates to win the Golden Boot award this season and, in time, he could challenge Rooney's goal scoring exploits.
Like all legends, Rooney's time at Old Trafford was up. United look much better off without Rooney they have scored four goals in four of their fixtures in all competitions this season. The England star was a great servant on the pitch for the Red Devils but it was the right decision to move on. You will see Jose Mourinho's new-look United, currently joint-top of the table, feature prominently in various prediction pieces for the title and look to be well-placed to claim another crown. The Red Devils won five Premier League titles with Rooney in the squad but a first since his departure now beckons. It might be worth checking out free bets offers for 2017-2018 football season before placing a wager England's top flight is now more competitive and challenging than it has ever been. Should United maintain their current effort throughout the bulk of the campaign, they will be there or thereabouts. On the pitch yes, Rooney deserves legendary status for his commitment to United. He was a natural leader from the front, particularly in his early days, and not many Scousers could do what Rooney has done at Old Trafford. Eventually, he may be recognised alongside the likes of Charlton and Best but for now, Rooney will be renowned for his records.
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