Rooney, 31, has announced his retirement from International selection but will that last?
Wayne Rooney’s time in an England shirt has been full of ups and downs, from his debut under Sven Goran Eriksson to his record breaking goal against Switzerland in 2015. In the future, his record may prove exceedingly difficult to chase down.
His departure leaves a hole in the England team, with no immediately obvious candidate for the permanent captaincy. Someone such as Harry Kane may be looked at to lead a younger looking England team, with players like Michael Keane, John Stones and Marcus Rashford emerging in recent years. This would be a major challenge for anyone looking to step up to the level of scrutiny afforded to Rooney and his performances.
For many, Rooney’s move to Everton was seen as a stepping stone for him to get back to the talismanic status that Rooney had enjoyed for over ten years within the England team. It would be extremely surprising if Rooney were to have a successful season at Goodison Park, that he would not have been in the England squad for what would be his fourth World Cup.
The more pressing question will be what has motivated a player who is only 31 years old to call time on an illustrious international career. One key consideration may be his change of situation at club level, with his move back to boyhood club Everton and the demanding nature of his role at the club. He is a player that has played at the very highest level of European football since he was 17 and it may feel as though he needs more time to give his all to his club and the project being built there.
There may also be an argument to say that current England manager Gareth Southgate has made it clear he favors younger options, with some exciting players coming through to the senior team. The emergence of Marcus Rashford at Manchester United contributed to the lack of opportunities and eventual departure of Rooney, a very similar issue may be occurring on the national stage.
In summary, it may happen that Rooney goes on to lead Everton to a European berth in what is one of the most challenging Premier League contingents in recent times and his England situation may need revisiting as the World Cup in Russia grows ever closer. It could be in Gareth Southgate’s favor to have a senior head like Rooney on the plane to set an example to his younger players and to draw media focus from those lesser experienced players.
What do you think about Rooney’s retirement? Should he come back for the World Cup? Let me know your thoughts in the forums. You can also find me on Twitter (@CharliePumfrey).
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