What Wayne Rooney is currently on is commonly known around football as an international break, although there has been precious little respite from the constant questions about his form and best playing position.
Having been dropped from the Manchester United side by Jose Mourinho before joining up with England, the 30-year-old has now also been shunted onto the bench for the national team by caretaker boss Gareth Southgate.
Should the debate around the striker/number 10/poor man’s Pirlo rage on until the summer (and let’s face it, that looks likely), then Rooney could find yet more competition for pitch time arriving at Old Trafford.
According to the latest media reports, Real Madrid man Isco could call time on his Bernabeu stay if he’s not afforded more minutes this season.
The Spaniard, who signed for Los Blancos from Malaga in 2013, has made five all-competition appearances for Zinedine Zidane’s side this season, totalling 192 minutes.
As a result he told local media he’d look to leave if things don’t improve:
“If I’ve still only made a few appearances by the end of the season, I’ll look elsewhere.
“At 24 years of age I have the right to better myself.”
That’s led many to believe that the Red Devils could come to the 24-year-old’s rescue, but as a natural number 10, Isco’s arrival would further jeopardise Rooney’s future.
The United skipper has already been ousted by Spanish creator Juan Mata on Mourinho’s teamsheet and if another, younger, Spanish option becomes available to the former Chelsea tactician, then Rooney could quickly become a forgotten man at Old Trafford.
Mourinho has stated before that he doesn’t see the Liverpool native as a deep-lying Pirlo, so opportunities to play could be even fewer next season than they are now.
Despite being dropped for England’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia, Rooney is still the 9/5 third-favourite to score a goal at any time in Trnava.