Arsenal legend Thierry Henry believes Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is one of the all-time greats of the game.
Rooney is now two goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goalscoring record of 49 for England after scoring in a 4-0 win against Lithuania on Friday.
The 29-year-old is also just 20 goals behind Charlton’s record for Man United and given that he has plenty of years left to come, it is an inevitability Rooney will become United’s all-time record goalscorer so long as he remains at the club.
As has always been the case, Rooney comes under plenty of criticism but Henry has urged England and United’s young players to learn from Rooney while they can before he retires.
Speaking about Rooney, Henry said: ”You will only truly appreciate Rooney when he has retired. It’s a shame but it’s always like hat. I would absolutely urge all those youngsters in the squad, such as Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, to watch and learn off Rooney from this day onwards.
“They are extremely lucky to be on the same training pitch as this guy and they must make the most of it. It will be a real waste if they do not.
“They must try to copy him. In terms of his dedication and the way he plays. I would also say this to the young lads at Manchester United.
“To play well for six months or a season in football is nothing. To do so for over a decade like Rooney is extraordinary. I know what it takes and it isn’t easy. Trust me, people talk about him outside of this country. In Spain and France, he is appreciated as a top, top player.”
The Dutchman insisted that Rooney brought balance to his team in the middle of the park but he put in a number of increasingly ineffectual performances. Since moving back up front thanks to an injury to Robin van Persie, Rooney has flourished. The man is a goalscorer but his versatility has been his downfall over the course of his career.