Could Wayne Rooney fit in at Real Madrid?

Could Wayne Rooney fit in at Real Madrid?

The Collins Column

There has been more talk this week about the future of Wayne Rooney at Manchester United, with the Daily Telegraph reporting Real Madrid could look to the England forward to bolster their forward line in the summer.

Rumours of a Rooney exit from Old Trafford have rumbled on for months now. Former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed at the end of last season that the 28-year-old striker had handed in  a transfer request having played second fiddle to Robin van Persie for large parts of the campaign. It was the second time he had asked to leave the club, having done so a couple of years before that, citing United’s lack of ambition in the transfer market as his reason to leave.

There would be no shortage of takers for Rooney should he leave the 20-times Premier League champions, with city rivals Manchester City, French powerhouse PSG, and German side Bayern Munich all mentioned as possible destinations.  With just 18 months to go on his current deal, and it being unlikely that he’ll lift the Premier League trophy this year, things could get interesting in the summer. Don’t forget, while Rooney may not be a champion come May, you could be a part of the Winner Betting for the Premier League 2014 – William Hill. Should Rooney decide to test himself in Spain, how would he fit into the Real Madrid side?

Madrid are known to be on the look-out for a striker, with Sergio Aguero and Falcao mentioned as possibilities too. While those two already know La Liga, and are native Spanish speakers so would find it easier to slot back into the Spanish lifestyle, Rooney could be an interesting option thanks to his on-field understanding with Cristiano Ronaldo. The pair formed a devastating partnership at Manchester United, winning numerous league titles, and the Champions League in 2008. Indeed, Ronaldo had an outstanding season in 2007-08, setting all sorts of club goal scoring records, largely thanks to Rooney’s willingness to do more defensive work to allow his strike partner to roam wherever he wanted.

Rooney is also very adaptable and could fit in anywhere along Madrid’s front line. He can play behind the frontman in a more deep lying role – something he had to do last season while van Persie was the focal point of the attack. He is equally effective playing on his own upfront, and has played on the wing in his time at Manchester United too. Such versatility would allow Ancelotti to mix up the forward line, and would give another dimension to an already potent attack.

Off the field, Rooney would have no trouble settling in at Madrid. If he did sign, he would be surrounded by familiar faces – Gareth Bale, Alvaro Arbeloa and Xabi Alonso have all played in the Premier League, while assistant manager Paul Clement is another fellow English speaker who could help him settle while learning the new language and culture.

Madrid fans don’t seem so keen on a move for Rooney, and would prefer and out and out goalscorer. But the lad from Liverpool would add so many things to Madrid’s game that a bid in the summer would make sense for Los Blancos.