Three reasons Man United can’t rely on just Wayne Rooney
Three reasons why Manchester United need another striker to help Wayne Rooney with the workload up front
Since 2003, Wayne Rooney has sprained his ankle five times, which has led to prolonged spells on the sidelines. Last season, he was out for 15 days with a thigh knock. In the 2012-13 season, he was out for 63 days with a knee injury, groin strain and flesh wound. Manchester United need a forward that will not miss a lengthy part of the season. From 2007, he has missed a total of 51 games, which equals to more than a Premier League campaign. Last season, it was clear that United are reliant on Rooney for goals. This made it easier for other teams to catch him out as they targeted Rooney. With an injury occurring at least once a season, the Red Devils cannot rely him on only him for goals.
Not an out-and-out striker
Rooney’s play can be seen as a book of tells. He scored 14 goals last season for United, which included one penalty. He scored 10 of these with his right foot. 67 per cent of his goals came from the left hand side of the box. United need some dominance upfront, and while Rooney did produce 53 shots on target, only 14 were converted into the back of the net. His goals by match ratio come to 0.36, not enough for a team who want to win the Premier League. Also, 16 per cent of his goals came in the 90th minute. This means Rooney can produce a moment of magic if and when needed for the points. However, as mentioned, United need more strength and a better shots to goal ratio to win trophies. This is what United fans are calling for, and some feel Rooney is not quite up to the task. What is quite impressive is the fact that Rooney was not always played in his preferred striker role, but he was still United’s top goal scorer. However, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo or Thomas Muller would produce more moments of magic.
It is well known that Rooney has a temper on him and he can be quite hot headed on the pitch. The England captain had six cards last season, one of them being a red. He was sent off after 59 minutes against West Ham after he kicked out at Stewart Downing. The other five were yellow and 36 fouls of his last season led to free-kicks, which is 1.09 of free kicks per match against Rooney. Stats of this kind are not welcomed. His sending off at West Ham last season was after he was newly appointed as captain at United and this is nigh-on unforgiveable. Rooney blows hot and cold quite frequently on the pitch in terms of his attitude and form. This alone could be a reason as to why Van Gaal is on the look out for a forward in the summer transfer window.