Former England and Manchester United player Wayne Rooney will join Championship outfit Derby County in the January Transfer Window as a Player-Coach departing from current club DC United. Rooney currently plays as a player for the MLS side but will take on this newer role in which he will seek to develop his understanding of a manager/coach whilst still playing the game. Although the impact of Rooney’s transfer is currently unknown, we can safely say that this move will be a positive one for both Derby and Rooney.
The impact Rooney will have on Derby this season
Rooneys return to English football
Impact as a Player
There is no doubt that Rooney is one of the best strikers to ever grace the English game and forever will be a legend at Manchester United. In his time playing for the Red Devils, he scored 253 goals and racked up a further 146 assists. However, at the age of 33 years old, Rooney is far from in his prime, so his impact won’t be quite as good as it was at United! Despite this, Derby County play in a lower league, where the quality of football is not as high as that of the Premier League and probably more comparable to the MLS where he was performing well.
Rooney has come out ahead of his move stating that he is a “player first” and therefore will focus more of his attention on getting Derby promoted to the Premier League like they almost did under Frank Lampard last season. This may prove to be difficult as
Rooney will join halfway through the season, so his goal of promotion depends on how well Derby do without him in the first half of the season. While at DC United, Rooney’s impact was huge in the MLS, helping them become Play-off contenders in a matter of weeks from being bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference table. Therefore, Rooney still has the potential to gain Derby its promotion space as half of the season is still a lot of time.
Impact as a coach
Rooney’s role off the pitch is to be a coach for Derby County, learning under the Dutch Manager of Phillip Cocu whose role is still secure. This is a helpful position for Rooney who will learn the ropes of the Managerial side without the pressure of being a fully-fledged manager unlike what Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard who both went straight into managing and now manage major clubs.
Rooney already brings good knowledge of being a coach due to being a footballer at the highest level and playing under Managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Louis Van Gaal. Van Gaal in particular as he has claimed his coaching methods in the short time at Manchester United, he may use some of these techniques to help improve the Derby side.
Overall Rooney’s impact will potentially be a very positive one in that he brings quality on and off the pitch which will be very beneficial for Derby this season. However, Rooney’s impact does still rely on how Derby will play without this man for the first half of the season as we doubt, he’ll be able to carry them in the second half of the season. As the season starts many people are optimistic for Derby going forward and the potential impact Rooney will have from January.