LONDON – Wayne Rooney’s decision to join Derby is the first step in his plan to take over as Manchester United manager, according to former teammate Rio Ferdinand.
Rooney, 33, will begin life at Pride Park in January, after 18 months at DC United in the United States.
He has no coaching experience, yet Ferdinand, who spent a decade alongside him at Old Trafford, is confident he has the qualities to succeed in the dug-out.
Frank Lampard enjoyed his first coaching job at Derby before leaving for Chelsea, and Ferdinand believes Rooney already has his sights set on bigger things, too.
“His endgame is managing Manchester United, 100 percent. It’s a fact,” Ferdinand said.
“If he tells you any different, he’s lying! He will want to do that. Only time will tell if he’s going to be the man to be able to do that.
“A lot of things have got to marry up for that to happen. Frank was right place, right time. Can that happen for Wayne? We’ll see.”
BT Sport pundit Ferdinand insists the former England captain is well-equipped to move into management because he is still in touch with the modern game and, like Sir Alex Ferguson, he has an air of unpredictability.
“He’s not scared of sharing his opinion, which is a good thing,” said Ferdinand.
“He can be hard to read sometimes, which I think is something that’s good to have in a manager as well.
“I think he’s got a good understanding of today’s player. He’s that age. He’s still connected to the younger generation. He can talk the language.
“There are a lot of managers out there now who are a bit detached from the next generation. It’s so different now.
“He was good at poker, wasn’t he? When he speaks and you think, ‘I didn’t realise he sees it like that’, having that element is good.
“You don’t want to be predictable, for your players to read you so much. It keeps people on their toes.
“For instance, Sir Alex Ferguson would change players. Is it Nani this week or is it Giggsy? Is Cristiano Ronaldo playing through the middle or on the left?
“You need that in your teams. I feel Wayne will have that element to him.”
Rooney’s also had some very good management mentors. “Not many people get to play under the managers he has,” Ferdinand said.
“Ferguson, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello... I’m sure over the years, he will have taken elements from their coaching styles. He’s been exposed to a lot of quality.”Daily Mail