Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has regularly seemed nonexistent this season. He was a ghost in last weekend’s Manchester derby and again in Man United’s Capital One Cup loss to Middlesbrough, in which he was even credited with a missed a penalty. Given this, there exists a very real possibility that he has already retired from the game, having recently turned 30, and simply didn’t inform anyone of his departure, leaving Man United to continue selecting him without him actually showing up.
So let’s examine the evidence…
First, there’s the fact that Man United recently granted Rooney a testimonial, which, as previously noted, is usually something reserved for a long-serving player on his way out of the club. The timing of the announcement seemed a bit odd, but if he’s already gone, it makes perfect sense. Of course, this would also imply that he has told his superiors at the club that he’s off, but maybe they thought meant that he’s calling it quits at the end of the season when he actually meant several weeks ago.
Second, there are the eyewitness accounts of Man United’s last match.
Rooney is “past it” and “a let down” who looks like he’s finished they said, which sounds a lot like what you’d say about the performance of a retired player after a match they didn’t participate in.
Third, there’s the photographic evidence. Rooney allegedly played against Middlesbrough from the start of the second half on, but do you see him in this picture of the team?
No. Because he wasn’t really there.
That settles it. Wayne Rooney has almost certainly already retired without announcing it. The sooner Louis van Gaal figures that out, the better.