The soccer press has been buzzing about the latest Wayne Rooney press conferences, statements, and rumors. The usual suspects have been named as possible destinations: the ATMs that are Manchester City and Real Madrid, EPL rival Chelsea, and Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich. But where Wayne Rooney really belongs is in Italy, and specifically Inter Milan.
Here is why Rooney in the Black and Blue makes the most sense:
- He moves to a team that is already successful and won’t need him to be their savior: Don’t get me wrong, Inter Milan needs the talents of a player like Wayne Rooney. Although they are well positioned to repeat as Serie A champions again, their campaign so far has been lackluster. Their nine goals are the fewest scored by any of the top six and its been their defense that has won attention. An on-form Wayne Rooney immediately boosts their offense. But Inter Milan does not absolutely need him; if they did not sign him Eto’o, Milito, and Sneijder are still world-class up front. His addition would add a key component without the pressure of being “The Man” for Inter.
- Rooney counters the Milan signings: The media attention in Serie A has been on Inter’s intercity rival. Their Ibrahimovic signing so far has been worth every euro, and they have become the popular pick to snatch the title away from Inter (sorry Lazio fans). While press clippings don’t win scudettos, signing Wayne Rooney reminds everyone which club is the defending champions of Italy and Europe and pushes Milan to the second page. This is a definite benefit to management.
- He provides needed youth up-front: It’s hard to remember, but Wayne Rooney is just 24 years old. Milito is 31 and Eto’o is 29. Rooney becomes the young striker that Balotelli had been for the Nerazzurri.
- Rafa Knows Rooney: Having managed against him in the EPL, he is well aware of his skills so the learning curve on how to use Wayne Rooney in his system will be short. Plus, he has dealt with the press in multiple countries and can help with that aspect.
- Serie A is a clean start away from the English press: Athletes in crisis management are well served stepping out of the spotlight for a time to re-craft their image. While Rooney playing with Inter would still cause a media circus, he would be covered daily by the Italian press and not the English press. While the Italian press can be critical (to put it lightly), he is out of the country where he is seen as THE face of football. At the same time he would still be playing top-flight football and could showcase his skills on the international stage. And I suspect Fabio Capello still has a few friends in Italy who can keep an eye on Rooney for English national purposes.
What do you think of Wayne Rooney with the Nerazzurri?