Having failed to play for Manchester United since the middle of February after sustaining knee ligament damage in a defeat to Sunderland, Wayne Rooney remains confident of leading England at this summer’s European Championships. The striker who has had preparations for major tournaments disrupted by injury in the past, is hopeful of a return to action in early April. However, with England’s all time leading scorer set to miss out on high profile friendly fixtures against Germany and the Netherlands at the end of March, it certainly provides an opportunity for a number of other marksmen to stake their claim.
Doubts as to Rooney’s guaranteed position in the England starting eleven were already growing due to a lack of form even before the injury, and the performances of the likes of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy has led to yet more skepticism. For Rooney this may well be his final opportunity to perform on a major stage. With a famous broken metatarsal hampering his preparations for the World Cup in 2006, in which he eventually failed to score and was sent off as England crashed out at the quarter final stage, as well as an injury impeding another goalless spell in South Africa four years later, Rooney will certainly be under pressure to perform this time around.
England boasts a squad capable of being competitive in France this summer, and with Euro 2016 odds for possible glory given at 10/1, Coral see England as a potential outright winner with these odds. The likes of Spain, Germany and hosts France are currently all seen as more likely winners, with England having not won a major competition since their famous World Cup win in 1966.
For Rooney, who reportedly turned down an astronomical offer from the mega rich Chinese Super League in Janury, it may well be that his future with Manchester United comes into question at the end of this year’s campaign. Having failed to consistently hit the heights to match the promise he showed as a teenager with Everton and England, sections of the Old Trafford faithful are becoming increasingly frustrated with their Captain’s performances. Much could hinge on who is at the helm of United come the start of next season, with Louis Van Gaal’s future coming into question on numerous occasions throughout the season. Coral make Jose Mourinho the 1/4 odds on favourite for the position.