Money spent backing one of Robin van Persie’s teammates to be Manchester United’s top goalscorer this season would appear to be money wasted, but there’s a case to make for Wayne Rooney to outdo him in this department, if the England forward doesn’t quit the club as is predicted.
Prolific Dutchman van Persie is available as short as 8/15 to top the Red Devils’ scoring charts come the season’s end but, at 4/1, Rooney could prove a worthy adversary in David Moyes’ system.
Rooney is widely expected to be plying his trade away from Old Trafford from next season, but the 27-year-old can flourish playing off van Persie should he choose to stay.
After only managing 12 Premier League goals when playing second fiddle to van Persie in the previous campaign, Rooney is keen to seek pastures new.
However, Moyes’ penchant for utilising a goalscorer in what common parlance refers to as ‘the hole’ meaning the former Everton star can improve this tally next season without switching clubs.
Both Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini were regular goalscorers when operating in this role, with one of the players finishing as the team’s top scorer on five instances since the 2005-06 season.
Rooney has the eye for goal that both of these players possess but is also blessed with the advantage of being a striker by trade, not a central midfielder like those whose footsteps he could potentially follow.
Van Persie’s 26 Premier League strikes were more than enough to see him crowned the United’s top scorer last season and a similar haul can be expected this time around.
His favouritism is definitely justified and any punt on his price is more than likely to reap sufficient rewards, but if Rooney chooses to stay, history suggests he can rival the Dutch ace.
He has matched or bettered this tally on two occasions in a Man United shirt and, if he applies himself correctly playing off the front, his and van Persie’s partnership could easily prove the most potent in the Premier League this season.
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