With news breaking that Wayne Rooney will be landing in America in the next 24 hours, specifically Washington DC, the question must be asked – could this be the MLS’s biggest transfer coup since the signing by New York City of Spanish International David Villa?
It’s been confirmed by the British media that Rooney and his representative’s will be sitting down with DC United’s front office staff to discuss a potential move to America and the MLS.
Despite Everton FC sacking former England manager Sam Allardyce, who was the apparent trigger to Rooney’s unhappiness this season, the forward-thinking midfielder was looking to re–establish himself with his first club. He is still intrigued by the MLS and its growing reputation within World football. Long gone (hopefully) has the time when aging players viewed the MLS as a final payday – both the speed (of the game) and the vast improvement of the technical development of the younger players soon indicates that players and pundits alike that have underestimated the league. I’m certain that ‘Zlatan’ has massively undervalued the competition.
There are several reasons why this particular move to the States could give the league the necessary boost that the domestic game requires after the devastating exit in the World Cup qualifiers. Whilst the recently named International squad has the emphasis on youth, sides within MLS are steering away from expensive European based veterans to concentrate on developing their own youngsters or purchasing raw talent from the well of talent that is South America.
Wayne Rooney brilliantly made his debut in 2003 with English Premiership club, Everton, announcing himself on the big stage as a bullish, raw and exciting forward that had almost instantly demonstrated the power and strength that’s required to successfully compete in the English Premier League. Despite a few off the field altercations, including a highly publicised and much mocked story involving an aging ‘lady of the night’, despite this Rooney and his career went from strength to strength. His iconic style is based on the raw enthusiasm we’ve all embraced in our youth. Rooney played without barriers, smashing through them, equally mentally and physically durable; stepping up to the International side with England proved no hindrance to the Liverpool born youngster.
Rooney’s style quickly matured when he joined the giants of European Football – Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson had been unsuccessfully attempting to purchase the player as he moved through the relevant youth levels. Ferguson has always been immensely thorough when researching every facet of purchasing youngsters and bringing them into the dynasty that he, himself had built and he was proved right again as Rooney proved unintimidated in the Theatre of Dreams and the burdens that a large transfer fee entails with one so young.
He dovetailed perfectly with Cristiano Ronaldo – Rooney was a superstar in his own right, yet he had the intelligence to put aside his own burgeoning career and embrace a deeper role when Ferguson employed Ronaldo as the lone striker in Europe – he sacrificed himself for the good of the team where as other top drawer players tend to have a sense of entitlement to play in the position – a level of selfishness that they think is key to their own playing and ultimately their commercial career.
That’s the key reason why I consider Rooney’s potential move to be one of excitement; I don’t expect him to lord over the roster, I think he will embrace the competition and the environment. It will prove an excellent learning curve to the young players currently on DC United’s ranks. He is the ultimate team player and if he does move across the Atlantic I expect him to be an outstanding import. Obviously commercially Wayne Rooney is still an elite player and his transfer would potentially be welcome to the MLS developers as there is interest in the player across Europe and China.
It would be exciting times in Washington if they can successfully get him signed, and visiting the club is a sure indication that Wayne Rooney and most importantly, his family are ready to make the move. It would be pure folly for the player to travel the distance for the sake of it. He will be the most highly profiled Englishman to play in the League since David Beckham – he perhaps won’t bring the individual flair and media circus with him, but he will bring an extremely high level of experience attained at the highest level both domestically and on the International stage.
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