One of the most attention-grabbing sound bites from Jose Mourinho’s first press conference as Manchester United manager came about Wayne Rooney.
According to the Portuguese, the Red Devils skipper is best used scoring goals and so would not be featuring in central midfield under his watch, returning instead to a more familiar role up front.
Considering the former Chelsea and Real Madrid tactician had already signed Swedish icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic that week, to add to a burgeoning young crop also containing Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, it was quite the show of faith.
Since then the Englishman has rewarded his new boss’ decision by scoring twice in his one and only pre-season appearance to date; playing up front alongside Ibrahimovic and Martial in a 5-2 win over Galatasaray.
The display wasn’t quite impressive enough for us, however, and Rooney remains a longshot in our Premier League top scorer market at 40/1. His price barely coming within touching distance of the 8/1 afforded to his new Swedish partner, who is third favourite.
Indeed, our scepticism over Rooney’s rebirth as a prolific goalgetter is clear in our special market on the Three Lions skipper.
We offer 20/1 that the 30-year-old bags over 20 league goals this season, something he has only managed twice in his career and hasn’t achieved since the 2011/12 campaign when he scored 27.
What’s more likely, according to our price of 1/1, is that the former Everton youth weighs in with between 10-15 goals, as he has done in half of his 14 top-flight campaigns.
It’s also 6/4 that he nets 5-10 strikes, while scoring between 15 and 20 is available to back at 9/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.