Wayne Rooney is a Derby County player. Or at least will be in January. Still sounds weird, doesn’t it?
England’s record goal-scorer has agreed a deal to be a player-coach at Pride Park, joining up with Phillip Cocu’s side when his MLS season with DC United is done and dealt with.
However, will he actually get into the Derby team? On the Totally Football League Show this week, Sam Parkin explained why he isn’t so sure.
“I’ve got no doubts he’ll come into the dressing room, onto the training ground and be a brilliant professional,” Sam said. “I’d love it if I was there. Absolutely love it. I’d think “He’s the most talented player we’ve had for 20 years, by by a mile.” And I think he will come in and have that same attitude that he had as a 17 year old. So he’ll be a great influence around the place.
“Whether he’ll get in the team or not – that’s a completely different question. I’ve heard people that have played in MLS say that it’s similar to the Championship in standard.
“There are players that arguably could play in the Premier League – Miguel Almiron who’s gone to Newcastle, for example – but there’s players in MLS teams that wouldn’t get in League One teams or maybe struggle in the bottom tier.
“I’m not sure he’ll be able to come in and have a great effect in the Championship. Of course, he would still be liable to produce moments of magic, but if they’re motoring and Cocu’s got a system and he’s got a front player in particular who’s doing the business for him – to bring in someone in January and immediately put him in the team could have a destabilising effect on the side.”
If he does get into the team – where? Adrian Clarke reckons he should stick to where he made his name.
“I would say don’t whatever you do, don’t play him as a deep-lying playmaker,” said Adrian. “They’ve got Huddlestone to do that. Get Rooney in and around the final third where he can make decisive impacts for the team.
“I’d just give him that free role, probably in the No.10 position and hope that when they get the chances, he retains that clinical edge. Some of the goals he scored over there – to me, he still looks like he’s got plenty in his locker.”
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