Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes that Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United career could be over if he does not improve over the course of the season.
Rooney has scored just the solitary Premier League goal this term and he has struggled immensely since the start of the campaign. The Man United captain’s displays have been underwhelming and he has come under heavy criticism from all quarters.
Hamann feels that United can not afford to keep Rooney at the club if he is not going to play.
However, Louis van Gaal has already said that, as captain, Rooney does have the most guaranteed starting spot on the team, despite his performances.
“His [Rooney’s] form has to improve. There will be a time, if his form doesn’t improve, where the club won’t be happy and he won’t be happy and you have to come to a decision because you can’t keep a Rooney at your club on vast amounts of money if he is a bit-part player,” Hamann said.
“Van Gaal has backed him, he has done everything he could, but there will come a time when the manager will say, ‘listen mate, you can’t be in the starting XI’.”
Rooney starting receiving some flak last season when his form started to deteriorate but his constantly changing position meant many sympathised with him. However, it now feels as if United are trying to fit him into their team and Hamann knows that this season is key for England’s leading all-time goalscorer.
He added: “From now until the end of the season, it will be a critical eight months. If his form doesn’t improve there may be a time sooner or later when Rooney himself wants a fresh challenge in a league that isn’t as demanding as the Premier League.”
Rooney has been a key player for United for more than a decade now and has become a key figure at the club. Louis van Gaal decided to name him captain and as his responsibility has grown, his performances have suffered. It is an important time for Rooney as he needs to find form quickly or risk losing his place in the side.
United have always been a club who like to promote youth and if Rooney continues in the same vein of form, it could just be a matter of time before he finds himself replaced, something that could spell the beginning of the end for the striker.