Kai Rooney is shining in Man United’s academy, is he destined to be an Old Trafford star?

Wayne Rooney’s status as one of Manchester United’s greatest-ever players is secure. Five Premier League titles, a Champions League and 253 goals across 13 years at Old Trafford – the numbers speak for themselves.

When he departed the Theatre of Dreams to return to boyhood club Everton in 2017, fans may have thought the days of the famous ‘Roooney, Roooney’ chant echoing around the stadium had been and gone.

But a new Rooney has emerged, Wayne’s 13-year-old son, Kai. And like his father, he’s got plenty of ability with the ball at his feet.

After spending some time with Manchester City’s youth teams, Kai was snapped up by United’s academy in December 2020.

This news may have initially been treated with some scepticism by fans. Had he just been picked up by the Red Devils because of who his dad was? It didn’t take Kai long to prove the doubters wrong.

Kai Rooney (left) joined father Wayne on the pitch when Man United won the league in 2013

Kai Rooney (left) joined father Wayne on the pitch when Man United won the league in 2013

Wayne was also on hand when Kai signed for United's academy as an 11-year-old in 2020

Wayne was also on hand when Kai signed for United’s academy as an 11-year-old in 2020

The 13-year-old is now starring for Man United's youth teams and scored 56 goals last season

The 13-year-old is now starring for Man United’s youth teams and scored 56 goals last season

Playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo Jr, the son of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Kai scored a staggering 56 goals in his first full season with United’s under-12s.

He also registered 28 assists during the campaign, highlighting the selfless side to his game. A goal scorer who’s also the most creative player in the team – sounds familiar, doesn’t it? 

Major brands quickly began to take notice of Kai’s exploits and he followed in his father’s footsteps by signing a sponsorship deal with footwear giants Puma last July.

He has since featured on an advertising poster for Puma alongside City defender Kyle Walker and pop star Dua Lipa as he continues his rise despite having only just started his teenage years.

At the time of putting pen to paper on his Puma contract, Kai had 55.4K followers on Instagram, but that number has since doubled to 110,000 with more and more people keen to witness his journey.

Kai regularly updates fans with posts about his fledgling football career, but also plugs sports and fashion brands including his mother Coleen’s favourite fashion shop, Cricket.

Kai signed a boot deal with footwear giants Puma last year after shining for United's academy

Kai signed a boot deal with footwear giants Puma last year after shining for United’s academy

Kai has featured on a Puma advertising poster alongside both Kyle Walker and Dua Lipa

Kai has featured on a Puma advertising poster alongside both Kyle Walker and Dua Lipa

Rooney plugs Puma on his Instagram, and now has 110,000 followers on the social media site

Rooney plugs Puma on his Instagram, and now has 110,000 followers on the social media site

Kai is happy to plug his mother Coleen's favourite fashion shop Cricket on his Instagram

Kai is happy to plug his mother Coleen’s favourite fashion shop Cricket on his Instagram

It seems Kai could thrive as a social media influencer if things don’t work out on the pitch, but there are few concerns of that happening right now.

The talented teenager has gone from strength to strength this term, and was filmed leaving three opponents in a heap on the floor before scoring a wonderful individual goal during a kickabout in Dubai in November.

Rooney became a fans’ favourite with his ability to make opposition players look foolish, particularly in his early days after bursting onto the scene, and Kai appears to be a chip off the old block.

Rooney also had a habit of finding the net in big games, scoring in the Champions League final against Barcelona in 2011, while his record of 12 goals in 31 matches against City is an impressive one.

Arguably his most famous United goal came against City, when he pulled off a spectacular bicycle-kick to fire his side to a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in 2011.

Wayne Rooney scored an iconic bicycle-kick in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford in 2011

Wayne Rooney scored an iconic bicycle-kick in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford in 2011

Kai also found the net against City in the under-13 National Cup North final last month

Kai also found the net against City in the under-13 National Cup North final last month

Kai has also proved he can raise his game when taking on United’s biggest rivals, scoring all four goals in a 5-4 defeat by Liverpool last season, before getting on the scoresheet again in a 2-0 win over City in the under-13 National Cup North final in March.

There are already a number of similarities between Kai and Wayne and, like his father, Rooney Jr is a proud Evertonian.

But when it comes to his future ambitions, Kai only has one club that he sees himself playing for.

‘In 10 years, hopefully I will be playing in the Premier League for Man United… that’s where I see myself but I’ve got to make it happen with the hard work and everything behind the scenes,’ he said last month.

Rooney was a breath of fresh air when he announced himself to the British public with his stunning winner for Everton against Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal as a 16-year-old in 2002.

Kai still has a long way to go, but has ambitions of playing for United's senior team in the future

Kai still has a long way to go, but has ambitions of playing for United’s senior team in the future

It was clear from that moment he was destined to become a superstar, and he would go on to become one of the best players these shores have ever produced.

Kai making such a huge statement straight away at senior level will be nigh-on impossible, particularly with all eyes on him already, years before he can even contemplate stepping up to the professional ranks.

But he is certainly heading in the right direction, shining for one of the leading academies in the country.

If he continues at his current trajectory, that ‘Roooney’ chant might make a return to Old Trafford in a few years’ time. 

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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description

PK0It means not giving in to each other, and winning 1 point wins all.
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3 levels3Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.
3-503/3.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 4 points.
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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description

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