On one point in the season, it looked like Rooney was set to miss out on Euro 2016 to injury. Manchester United and England captain, Rooney has just recovered in time to put himself in contention for the summer tournament.
The knee injury sustained in training kept the iconic talisman on the sidelines for two months, but it now seems that he is a certainty to go to the tournament this summer as the Three Lions’ captain.
Many England fans harbour a feeling of resentment towards Rooney’s automatic inclusion – arguably Rooney should be left out of the team after the emergence of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy plus the strong form of Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck.
Current Match Of The Day host and former England striker Lineker Gary Lineker agrees that Wayne Rooney is no longer an essential part of England’s hopes for Euro 2016 success.
“I don’t think he is crucial now.
“I don’t want that to be taken in the wrong way, but I think there are all sorts of options up front for Roy now.”
It has been over half a century since England tasted major tournament success, yet Lineker feels confident about the national team’s chances of acquiring accolades in the near future.
Once a potent international forward himself, Lineker thinks the Three Lions look the strongest they have for a decade and highlights the young attacking talent that has progressed in the Premier League this season.
“All of a sudden we have got different options up front and we are not so dependent on Wayne.
“Obviously we would like him to be fit and part of the squad but it is not like before when he has been injured and it was the end of the world – it is a far cry from that now, in his prime, he was our only genuine world class player.”
After the golden generation failed to live up to expectation and became jaded, England went through a period in the wilderness where they lacked a new wave a strong talent apart from Wayne Rooney.
It’s unfortunate for Wayne, who never managed to reach the great potential he showed for England during Euro 2004, but as Lineker argues – perhaps it’s time for him to step aside and allow the new influx of talent to come through.