What can Derby County expect from Wayne Rooney? Former MLS player Liam Ridgewell explains how striker’s role has changed in United States

6 Aug

Wayne Rooney is set to seal a surprise move to Derby County – but the Rams would be getting a different player to the one who left Everton last summer.

Derby owner Mel Morris has confirmed to talkSPORT he is in talks with Rooney over a player-coach role at the Championship side.

The former England, Manchester United and Everton striker is keen to return home after one-and-a-half seasons with Major League Soccer’s DC United.

England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney is coming home
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The 33-year-old has starred in the United States, scoring 25 goals and assisting 13 in 46 appearances and also helping DC to last season’s MLS play-offs.

But former MLS player Liam Ridgewell says England’s record goalscorer has taken on a different role since moving to DC.

Ridgewell, who spent five seasons with Portland Timbers and recently signed for League One side Southend United, says signing Rooney would be a ‘massive coup’ for Derby – but he is no longer the striker who scored over 250 goals for Manchester United.

Asked if swapping MLS football for the Championship is a step up or step down for Rooney, the former Premier League defender told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “That depends on the games you’re playing out in America.

“Some games are top end Championship when you’ve got the big crowds and you’re playing against Zlatan Ibrahimovic at LA Galaxy.

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“Then you get some other games where you’re not getting the big crowds, because the game is still getting big over there.

“I think the Championship be a great level for him and one he’ll do very well in; he’ll be able to show his qualities.

“He’s been scoring some worldies for DC United, but also speaking to some of the boys out there, he’s still demanding of the other players, making sure the team ticks and still doing his usual stuff.

Rooney has been brilliant for DC United but it is understood he wants to return to England
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“He’s been playing a slightly different role out there. He’s taken a deeper role, trying to mix up the play and work everybody in.

“But he’s still a quality act and it would be a massive coup for Derby to get him if they did.

He’s kept himself fit over there and he can still do a job if they could put him in the number ten role, to get on the ball and make things happen.”

Listen back to Liam Ridgewell on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above

Football Manager 2019: 13 brilliant cheap central midfielders to sign

4 Mar

A strong midfield is vital for any team on Football Manager but sometimes the cash at your club won’t let you sign the best in the business.

A central star is an absolute must, whether as a playmaker or a ball-winner, so what can you do?

Football Manager 2019 is set to thrill fans from November 2.

Thankfully the folks over at the excellent FMScout.com have figured out the best bargain buys in this position, and they should all be available for fairly low fees.

So which central midfielders should you be getting? Find out below.

*Some players may not be available on every game to due to differing database sizes

13. David Ivan (Vis Pesaro) – Age 23 – Value = £350,000

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Determination, Teamwork, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Stamina.

12. Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United) – Age 21 – Value = £300,000

Top attributes – Passing, Tackling, Technique, Positioning, Work Rate, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Pace.

11. George Thorne (Derby County/Luton) – Age 25 – Value = £725,000

Thorne hasn’t featured under Frank Lampard this season.

Top attributes – Passing, Technique, Composure, Vision, and Teamwork.

10. Anders Trondsen (Rosenborg) – Age 23 – Value = £450,000

Top attributes – Corners, Crossing, Long Shots, Passing, Tackling, Vision, Work Rate, Stamina, and Strength.

9. Bruno Cosendey (Vasco da Gama) – Age 21 – Value = £525,000

Top attributes – Technique, Bravery, Decisions, Flair, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision, Work Rate, Acceleration, Natural Fitness, Pace, and Stamina.

8. Cristhian Paredes (Portland Timbers) – Age 20 – Value = £14,750

Paredes has two international caps for Paraguay.

Top attributes – Long Shots, Technique, Anticipation, Composure, Determination, Off The Ball, and Agility.

7. Manu Morianes (Villarreal) – Age 19 – Value = £475,000

Top attributes – Passing, Tackling, Technique, Decisions, Determination, Work Rate, and Acceleration.

6. Benjamin Hvidt (AGF) – Age 18 – Value = £38,000

Top attributes – Passing, Aggression, Bravery, Work Rate, Jumping Reach, and Stamina.

5. Fabio Castellano (Juve Stabia) – Age 20 – Value = £200,000

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Determination, Flair, Teamwork, Vision, and Natural Fitness.

4. Lasse Vigen (Brondby) – Age 23 – Value = £925,000

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Aggression, Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Determination, Leadership, Teamwork, Work Rate, and Stamina.

3. Igor Kogut (Dnipro) – Age 22 – Value = £325,000

Top attributes – Finishing, Aggression, Bravery, Determination, Work Rate, and Natural Fitness.

2. Assane Gnoukouri (Free Agent) – Age 21 – Value = £0

Gnoukouri was once on the books at Inter Milan.

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Work Rate, Acceleration, Natural Fitness, Pace, and Stamina.

1. Alex Blesa (Levante) – Age 16 – Value = £170,000

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Flair, Teamwork, and Natural Fitness.