London – Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney will end his career as Manchester United's greatest ever goalscorer as the England centre-forward closes in on another landmark in the club's scoring charts.
Rooney, 26, is currently the sixth most prolific forward in United history, his 178 goals in all competitions featuring 126 in league games.
However, one more goal will see Rooney move into a tie for fourth place in the goalscoring tables, along with United legends Dennis Viollet and George Best who scored 179 in their respective careers.
Ahead of that pair stand only Jack Rowley (211), Denis Law (237) and Sir Bobby Charlton whose 249 goals between 1956 and 1973 currently make him the all-time leading scorer in United's illustrious history.
However, with Rooney having scored 31 goals already this season after netting twice in the weekend victory over Aston Villa, Ferguson has no doubt he will equal, and move above, Viollet and Best.
And, even though Rooney is currently a considerable 71 goals behind Charlton, the form book – and his manager – suggest he will require less than three seasons to re-write the record books.
“He's got time on his side to beat all types of records now,” said Ferguson. “What did Bobby get? 249? He's every chance of beating that, hasn't he? He's on track to do that, I'm sure he will do it.
“It's a fantastic record (to move fourth). It will happen of course, hopefully it happens Sunday. But it will eventually happen and it's a marvellous achievement, We've had a clutch of players who've scored an incredible amount of goals at the club, from Bobby Charlton down.
“Wayne is the one player who has scored regularly for us this season. I always felt a few years back that Wayne was a player who got goals in clutches, now it evens itself out which is good. He got two for us last Sunday and his goalscoring record is terrific.”
Rooney, of course, began his career at Everton and has not always been successful playing against his former employers although Ferguson believes he will be at the peak of his powers against David Moyes' side when the two clubs meet on Sunday.
“At the end of the day, it's an important game Sunday and I always said of Rooney, he's a player who plays on the edge, he likes the edge of a big game, put it that way, and it's a big game Sunday.” – Sapa-AFP