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Wayne Rooney’s injury adds to Manchester United’s growing list of woes

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Despite being nowhere close to his previous best, Rooney seemed to be turning the corner before being cruelly struck by injury.

Two years ago David Moyes was hailed for getting club captain and legend Wayne Rooney to sign a contract extension at Manchester United, thereby rejecting the overtures of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. Both managers have subsequently been sacked and that extension, which kept Rooney as the top earner at United, seems like a rather poor decision by the club, in hindsight.

At the start of this season there were calls – growing louder each week – for Rooney to be dropped from the United starting line-up. In 23 games in 2015 he managed just seven goals. However the turn of the year has seen an upswing in fortunes for Rooney. In just nine games he equalled last year’s tally before injuring a ligament in his right knee in a defeat to Sunderland last weekend. Rooney faces two months on the sidelines.

With the Euros coming up this summer, there must be a sense of déjà vu for Rooney, who seems to suffer regular setbacks in the lead up to any major international tournament. Rooney suffered a broken metatarsal at Euro 2004, broke another metatarsal before the 2006 World Cup, injured his ankle in the lead up to the 2010 World Cup and was handed a suspension for the first two games of Euro 2012. Suffice to say, his preparation this time will not be ideal as well.

On to more pressing matters, Rooney is likely to miss United’s matches against Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton and neighbours Manchester City, as their sorry quest for Champions League football continues. Anthony Martial is likely to play as the sole striker with the summer’s biggest flop Mephis Depay deputising for him on the left wing. But with Rooney’s recent form largely due to Martial’s presence on the left wing, the club will have to press the reset button all over again.

Rooney’s aforementioned contract extension goes up to 2019 when he’ll be almost 35. With his wages, no club – apart from those in the Far and Middle East – is going to take him from Manchester United’s hands. Rooney will remain a Red Devil for the rest of his Premier League career, but that idea is sadly not half as appetizing as it once was.

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