Rooney good value to become all-time leading England goalscorer
Wayne Rooney has often flattered to deceive in an England shirt, but against San Marino the stand-in captain became the fifth highest goalscorer in Three Lions history.
Two strikes against the European minnows brought Rooney’s total tally in white to 31, and he is now 2/1 to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49.
Charlton reached just short of half a century of goals for England despite playing in midfield, a testament to his ability to break from deep and find the net.
And Rooney, who seems to be moving further back on the pitch as he becomes a senior player for both club and country, may go on to eclipse Charlton’s haul.
Manchester United’s number 10 has lost his status as star striker for the Red Devils since the summer arrival of Robin Van Persie, but could be better suited to a withdrawn role behind the frontman.
Such a position was where Rooney operated in against San Marino, this time behind Danny Welbeck, and he responded with a coolly dispatched penalty and a curling effort to increase his England total.
At the age of just 26, Rooney could continue to play for England for at least another five years, which should give him enough time to find 19 international goals and break the record.
Although it has taken him over nine years to score 31 goals, and adding another two-thirds to his current total will be no easy feat before retirement.
But with Rooney speaking about the pride he takes in skippering the national side, and considering the influence Roy Hodgson places on the former Everton man then it is by no means implausible.
Rooney surpassed Alan Shearer’s 30 with his second against San Marino, and the former England striker thinks the Manchester United talent can go all the way.
“It is some challenge but that is what Wayne loves,” said Shearer.
“He is not yet 27, so he could go on and be the number one.”
Punters agreeing with the ex-Newcastle United marksman will fancy Rooney’s chances at 2/1, whilst Frank Lampard’s continued absence from the international set-up will offer more penalty kick opportunities.
With a current average of a Three Lions goal every 2.5 games, Rooney might need nearly another 50 caps to his name to end Charlton’s reign as leading scorer.
But if England’s most talented player in a generation can find the net more regularly in the coming years he could well break the record before retiring.
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