Alan Shearer believes it is time for Wayne Rooney to seriously consider his future at Manchester United.
Rooney’s importance at Old Trafford has been called into question of late after he was dropped for United’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid in March.
The striker was hauled off early during his side’s 2-2 draw at West Ham on Monday, while he has recently beenlinked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
And former England international Shearer said in The Sun: “Looking at it, things don’t seem right. He has been left out of the team, shunted around and been subbed more than once. I would be wondering just where I stand. If he is not happy, he needs to move.”
Rooney’s importance at the club has been diminished since the arrival of Robin van Persie from Arsenal for £24 million last summer.
Once the first name on the team sheet, it is Van Persie who is deemed Sir Alex Ferguson’s automatic starter up front these days.
“It is obvious he is not the No. 1 there any more. Robin van Persie is the automatic choice up front,” Shearer said. “Wayne is not even certain of being on the team sheet, as was proved against Real Madrid at Old Trafford.
“It was a decision I didn’t agree with and must have made Wayne wonder where he stands at United right now. He is still England’s main hope yet he wasn’t good enough for Manchester United on their biggest night of the season for what were described as ‘tactical reasons’.”
Van Persie recently went ten games without scoring for the Red Devils before netting from the penalty spot during the 2-0 win at Stoke on Sunday.
Despite the Netherlands international’s lack of goals leading up to that point, Ferguson continued to stick by his striker. Shearer, however, doubts whether the United boss would have shown the same confidence in Rooney.
“I have to ask myself if he had not scored for ten games, like Robin van Persie recently, whether the manager would have persevered with him,” he said.
Despite receiving criticism this term, Rooney has still managed to score 16 goals for United, yet against Stoke he was deployed in a deep midfield role alongside Michael Carrick.
The England international impressed, and Shearer feels this is proof that he is capable of performing well wherever he plays.
“I have always said that Rooney would be the best player on the pitch wherever he plays, bar in goal,” he said. “Right now, that is being tested, too. He has gone from the main frontman, to the supporting role in behind Van Persie, to out wide and a deep-lying midfield role.
“You have to ask yourself whether this would happen to someone like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. People will say that he is not in their class. But three or four years ago he was being talked about in the same breath.
“He is 27 and these should be the best years of his career coming up but he is not at the level we all expected he would be. He has to sit down with his advisors in the summer and ask himself whether or not a move would be beneficial. He is already at a great club with a great manager but things just don’t look rosy to me.”
Shearer added: “I am sure Manchester United would not want to move him to another Premier League club so the only option then would be abroad — and PSG are one of the few clubs who could afford him.”