Legendary England footballer and Laureus World Sports Academy Member Bobby Charlton has said he believes Wayne Rooney will stay at Manchester United long enough to break Sir Bobby’s own career goalscoring record of 249 goals at the club.
As he signed football jerseys, autograph books and even a mobile phone for the football-mad Operation Breakthrough project that uses sport to help engage young people who may have formerly been arrested or seen as at risk of committing crimes, he said that he thought Manchester United would have a ‘winning’ season under new manager David Moyes and he tipped Wilfried Zaha as a player to watch.
He said: “When we signed him from Crystal Palace he was a confident lad, but he has maybe been the star of the tour here. Give him the ball and all he wants to do is beat defenders and smash the ball into the back of the net. I think our crowds are going to love him.”
And turning to the subject of Wayne Roonie, who has been linked with a move away from the Manchester club all summer, Bobby said: “Wayne Rooney is a Manchester United player and I think that he will continue to be a Manchester United player. We are not silly enough to make any rash decisions. I don’t like losing really good players and he is a really, really good player.
“I was hoping one day that he might score as many goals as I had and that would have been really nice if it was at our club – and I’m still thinking that way.”
Bobby also had praise for the new Manchester United manager David Moyes.
“This pre-season friendly tour is very important for our new manager David Moyes. He is a first class coach and a manager and I was not surprised that Manchester United thought about him when Sir Alex Ferguson retired. After watching David for a while I really do believe he is going to have a happier time than some people give him credit for. At the end of the day we are going to be winners, not losers.”
When asked if this is the end of the Ferguson era or will there be continuity, he replied: “There is continuity already because Sir Alex is a director of the club and he will get the opportunity to say something if he doesn’t agree with things, but I doubt very much whether he will disagree at all. I am certain there will be mutual support between Sir Alex and David.”