Saturday 17 March 2018

Paul Scholes: Wayne Rooney may have already peaked

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has revealed his fears that Wayne Rooney's best days as a footballer are behind him.

Scholes also voiced fears that 28-year-old Rooney, who burst on to the scene as a precocious teenager with Everton, may already have passed his peak.

He wrote in his column for Paddy Power: "Wayne was in the Everton team at 16 years of age, in 2003.

"Since then he's played at Euro 2004, two World Cups, Premier League, and Champions League every year at United.

"There's a chance he's worn out. Wayne's peak may have been a lot younger than what we'd expect of footballers traditionally.

"Age 28 or 29 has been the normal 'peak'. With Wayne, it could have been when he scored 27 league goals in 2011/2012 when he was 26."

Scholes continued to say that Roy Hodgson could consider dropping him this summer, with challenges for his place up front from the likes of Daniel Sturridge.

"I’m not saying Wayne needs to be dropped but if form doesn’t get up to scratch in the warm-ups, or in the first game of the World Cup, it’ll be interesting to see if the England management team has the balls to make that decision," he said.

"We have quality forwards in the squad this time. That should give Wayne the competition he needs to spur him on a little more.

"To get the very best from Wayne in Rio, the manager needs to tell him: ‘Don’t bother running back. Stay up top. Stay centre forward. Score goals. That’s your job in my team."

Scholes predicted that Rooney could struggle to hold down a first-team spot at United next season too.

"It’ll be interesting next season with Louis van Gaal at Manchester United and how he decides to play Wayne," he said. "It looks like it might come to a straight choice between Wayne and Robin van Persie."

Online Editors

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