You can’t blame West Ham for trying, right? Wrong.
When Sky Sports News reported last Tuesday that ‘West Ham United are interested in signing Wayne Rooney if Manchester United allow him to to leave Old Trafford this summer’ it simply highlighted that lessons have not been learned. The fans are angered about many things at the club, from issues at the new stadium to performances on the pitch but transfer activity has been a consistent frustration. The Rooney news only served to prove that this summer may be no different to last summer.
Now, Rooney is undoubtedly still one of the biggest names in world football and a living legend. He is one of the greatest players that I have ever seen play and his achievements in football are outstanding and There is no doubt that signing him would be one of the biggest events in West Ham’s history. He is Wayne Rooney after all. His experience in the game, leadership, and (now rare) moments of quality would be invaluable to the club.
But he is no longer one of the best players in the world nor in the Premier League. He hasn’t been for years now. Now this is not to say that he does not possess more quality than any player in our squad. But we only have to look at his performances for Manchester United in recent seasons to see that he does not have the same power, the same drive and the same ruthlessness that he once possessed. He does not have the same impact on games that he once had and he is now reduced to appearances off the bench near the end of games.
Let’s not forget that his contract ends in 2019 and he is on a reported £250,000-£300,000 a week. Signing him would require a transfer fee and we will probably have to make him the highest paid player in our history. Wayne Rooney will be turning 32 at the end of this year and he has been playing professional football since the age of 16. Do we really want to be spending that type of money on a player who has been declining over the past few years? Can that money not be spent on other areas such as defence and midfield?
There is also the issue of Everton which means that simply attempting to get him will be a waste of time. Steve Walsh, Everton’s director of football, admitted that they would be interested in signing Rooney. If Rooney is to leave Manchester United, he is going to favour a return to his boyhood club after leaving them in 2004.
Once again, we are (seemingly) attempting to sign players that are unrealistic. We need to aim for realistic signings to ensure that next season, we do not replicate our performances from this season.