David Moyes made many injudicious decisions in his inaugural summer at Manchester United and a couple of them linger to this day - in the form of Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini. The winds of change seem set to breeze through Old Trafford again this summer and there is a case to be made for offloading the pair of them in the process.
Sir Alex Ferguson began laying the groundwork to move on from Rooney with the signing of Borussia Dortmundâ€™s title-winning number 10, Shinji Kagawa. Rooney was dropped for the Champions League tie with Real Madrid, the biggest game of that season, which prompted a discussion regarding his future and Rooney reportedly said if you donâ€™t want to play me, sell me.
Ferguson made a meal out of this in the media to suit his agenda, claiming Rooney had submitted a transfer request and no longer wanted to play for United. He proceeded to drop Rooney for more matches in the league, stating that his head was not in the right place.
It had been thought that Rooney had been one of the few toc ross Ferguson and live to tell the tale after the Previous transfer request saga, that almost saw him follow in the footsteps of Carlos Tevez across the city.
Well, seemingly Ferguson had chosen to bide his time. Potentially losing Rooney to Manchester City at that time was not something he could countenance as the team was still reliant on him. However, this time around, it was thought that Shinji Kagawa was primed to take the position at the fulcrum of the team, having spent a year adjusting to life in England and adapting to English football.
Moreover, Rooneyâ€™s performances had begun to flatter to deceive. One of Fergusonâ€™s many qualities was his intuition in knowing when to move a player on for the good of a team. There were exceptions, notably with Japp Stam, but on the whole he knew how and when to freshen up a squad to keep it moving forward.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live last week, Paul Ince noted how he and Mark Hughes were offloaded to prevent the squad becoming stagnant, despite their status as stalwarts in the team.
Consequently, a controversial move to Chelsea was in the pipeline for Rooney. However, despite Fergusonâ€™s best laid plans and the allure of Jose Mourinho, the arrival of Moyes scuppered that completely.
The former Everton manager wanted to build a team around Rooney and he convinced him to stay with the mega five year contract that will see Rooney remain amongst the Premier Leagueâ€™s to pearners into his early thirties.
This would not be a problem if he could still be relied onto perform consistently every week but Rooney only began to find form in January, after Three months of questionable performance and then he succumbed to injury.
The club do not necessarily need him off the wage bill to add to the squad but Rooney has shown in the past he is not happy to become a squad player and the mistake of picking him through thick and thin should not be repeated next season.
Furthermore, to complete the Moyes-era spring cleaning, United should be open to offers for Fellaini. To put it simply, he was never of the calibre required for Unitedâ€™s midfield and he never will be.
Even Moyes knew that he was not of the right technical quality, hence the wild goose chase around Thiago Alcantara, Cese Fabregas and Daniele De Rossi. There was also the embarrassing attempt to sign Ander Herrera for below his buyout clause, which was the nadir of a farcical transfer window.
It was only when it became clear that no midfielder with class could be acquired that Woodward decided to pull the trigger on Fellaini and by that time his buy-out clause had expired so Everton were able to bend the club over a barrel and extract an eye-watering Â£27 million transfer fee.
Hopefully, there are a couple of nouveau riche Chinese clubs itching to add a couple of rough diamonds to the emerging Chinese footballing crown.Read More