Ever since the day Chelsea’s opening bid for Wayne Rooney, though rebuffed by Manchester United, was met with the England international expressing his “anger and confusion” at his current employers, an inevitability has seemed to surround a potential transfer to the Blues.
While David Moyes has continued to insist that the forward is not
Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Rooney is Chelsea’s one and only remaining transfer target before the start of the Premier League season next month.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Chelsea are ready to up the stakes in their pursuit of Rooney by increasing their offer to around £40m – a stack of cash United could struggle to resist as they allegedly continue their pursuit of Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.
But where would Rooney fit in at Stamford Bridge, should Mourinho land the final piece in the puzzle?
With Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez all having been tipped as possible arrivals in west London, it’s clear that Mourinho is keen to strengthen the attacking options available to him. Fernando Torres still gives cause for concern, Demba Ba has failed to impress since his move from Newcastle United and Romelu Lukaku, though full of promise, remains raw.
As a result, there’s a high possibility that Rooney could be deployed in his preferred centre forward role more often at the Blues than at United. With Robin van Persie nailed on as the champions’ marquee frontman, Rooney often finds himself just off the Dutchman, out wide or even in central midfield – a situation which has irked the ex-Everton man. Mourinho could be willing to give him more opportunities as the focal point in attack.
However, the more likely outcome is a much more exciting prospect. Despite his wish to return to his roots as a striker, Rooney is arguably at his best in a second striker role, linking up with an out-and-out attacker. Chelsea, already well-stocked up front, would benefit from slotting Rooney into that position.
Should the club decide to go with two strikers from time to time, Rooney could drop off into the space between the opposition’s defence and midfield, causing all manner of problems and leaving Fernando Torres or Demba Ba to concentrate on making runs in behind . Relieved of their linking-up duties, both could return to their devastating best.
Adding Rooney to a luminous collection of attacking midfielders including Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard would also give Chelsea plenty of opportunities to rotate as the club attempt to challenge on all four fronts.
All of this, of course, depends on the man himself rediscovering the form which made him one of the world’s most feared strikers. If he does that, Chelsea could make Manchester United regret letting Rooney depart so acrimoniously.
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