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Wayne Rooney’s unwanted Everton record shows his days are numbered

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Photo: Getty Images.

The first season back at Goodison Park has not been exactly what Wayne Rooney was hoping for when he rejoined the club from Manchester United, but on Saturday he set an unwanted record as an Everton play as his side secured a 0-2 victory over Huddersfield Town.

That record is that he has been substituted off in 24 games this season, a new record overtaking the likes of Yakubu in 2007/08 and Marcus Bent in 2004/05, the previous leaders on 23 each, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.

It also means that he has completed the full 90 minutes in just 16 games this campaign, representing only 42% of his total appearances.

What’s worse is that he has completed 90 minutes under Sam Allardyce only four times since his appointment at the end of November.

(during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Everton at John Smith’s Stadium on April 28, 2018 in Huddersfield, England.

Such a statistic clearly shows that his manager no longer believes that the former England captain has what it takes to decide a game in the closing stages.

There are two key reasons for that. One is that Rooney no longer has such influence, particularly in a deeper midfield role where he finds it more difficult to stand out. Whereas he was once relied upon to produce the moment of magic to create a goal, he no longer has the ability, or at least, not often enough for Allardyce to gamble on him.

The other reason is that his fitness is no longer up to scratch. It may simply be Allardyce’s attempt to extend his career by not forcing him to continue when games have already been decided, but equally his legs cannot compete with the likes of energetic youngsters like Tom Davies when games are coming into the closing stages.

Another manager may take another approach if Allardyce is not in charge next season, but what this surprising fact shows is that Wayne Rooney’s is on his way out.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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Everton

Yves Bissouma would be the ideal first summer signing for Everton

Josh Kerr

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Yves Bissouma
Photo: Getty Images

According to Sky Sports, Everton could rival Tottenham for Lille midfielder Yves Bissouma as the two Premier League giants go head-to-head for the talented youngster.

After the sacking of Sam Allardyce from Goodison Park, Everton will know a huge summer window awaits. The Toffees need to recruit smartly if they are to improve on their 8th place finish of last season.

The midfield area needs serious reinforcements, with the likes of Davy Klaassen and Morgan Schneiderlin both enduring terrible campaigns. Bissouma, currently plying his trade in Ligue 1, could be vital in improving the club in the centre of the park.

Reports suggest Tottenham have been scouting the 21-year-old for the majority of the season so Everton should swoop soon if they are to get their summer plan in motion.

(Photo by Pascal Pavani/Getty Images)

The Ivory Coast-born midfielder already has 15 caps for Mali, and has hit three goals and one assist this season, impressing with his ability to play centrally or out wide.

Bissouma’s technical ability on the ball has impressed across the French league and he could be the addition that encourages Everton to play the free-flowing football that fans have been craving all season.

The report from Sky Sports also claims that former director of football Steve Walsh – who was sacked last week alongside Allardyce – was the one launching the interest in Bissouma, which means his exit could impact Everton’s pursuit.

However, the club should still monitor Bissouma’s availability as options in midfield are becoming increasingly thin, with several players becoming complacent and failing to impress on Merseyside.

The Toffees should undoubtedly follow up Walsh’s initial interest in the youngster and prepare to swoop.

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Marcel Brand’s stance on Ademola Lookman should reassure Everton fans

Max Cohen

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Ademola Lookman
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On Wednesday, Everton’s new director of football laid out his plans for the Merseyside club, emphasising the importance of working with young players.

According to the Telegraph, Brands is set to meet with Ademola Lookman in a bid to convince the promising youngster to stay at Goodison Park; a move that will reassure Everton supporters.

The 20-year-old spent the second half of the season on loan at Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, enjoying a successful spell that was punctuated by three goals and two assists in his final two matches.

Yet, the Englishman’s fine end to his stay in Germany sparked reports in ESPN that the Bundesliga club were interested in purchasing Lookman on a permanent basis, a transfer that would come as a massive blow for Everton.

The talented attacker only signed from Charlton in the summer of 2017, and was tipped to be one for the future at Goodison Park. To lose Lookman after just seven league appearances for Everton would be a tragic misstep.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Luckily, Brands is well known for his development of young players and said he is seeking a forward-thinking coach who shares these beliefs.

As quoted in the Telegraph, Brand is looking for a “modern coach,” preferably someone “who wants to work with young players.”

These comments will surely come as a relief to Toffees supporters who suffered through Sam Allardyce’s reign, a manager who is possibly the polar opposite of a “modern coach.”

Maintaining the services of one of England’s brightest young attacking talents, one who was even tipped for a World Cup call-up, is undoubtedly among Everton’s top priorities this summer.

It is refreshing to see the club’s new director of football shares this view and Marcel Brands will do his best to convince Ademola Lookman to remain at Goodison Park.

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Everton news round-up: Baines remains, eight released and dressing room unrest

A round-up of the biggest news at Everton today.

Mathew Coull

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Baines Remains

First of all, there is good news for Everton fans. Reports this week that club legend Leighton Baines is considering his future at Goodison Park now seem wide of the mark.

It had been suggested that the England international was tempted by a move to Los Angeles to play in MLS. However, as reported by the Liverpool Echo, the defender has no intention of leaving the club he has been with for 11 years.

He is said to be excited about working with a new manager.

For Everton, it is great news. Not only is Baines a legend, but he is also the best left-back at the club and a danger from set-pieces who is reliable from the spot.

This news should certainly be welcomed among the Everton faithful.

The Not-so Magnificent Eight

Unfortunately for other Everton players, their future is out of their hands. Everton have released a handful of their under-18 staff today. Captain Tom Scully is leaving, with the expectation he will join Norwich City – according to the Liverpool Echo.

Others who have been told they can depart are Stephen Duke-McKennna, Tom Murphy, Sid Kerr, Charlie Ball, Nathan Moore and Jordan Corke. Nathan Baxter has also been released. He was signed under Roberto Martinez’s reign from Vitesse Arnhem but has failed to develop at Finch Farm and will now need to find his way elsewhere.

The release of Scully and Duke-McKenna may come as something of a surprise, but it appears that Everton are ready to freshen up their youth-team.

Whack-a-Mole

Now some troubling news reported by The Sun today. They claim there are huge divisions in the camp at Everton, namely between the whole dressing room and, seemingly, Oumar Niasse.

The report suggests the ill-feeling in the camp got so bad that youngster Tom Davies has even contemplated quitting the club.

(Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

But the most alarming factor about this story is the supposed ‘dressing room insider’ feeding this sort of ‘story’ to the press.

Everton fans will not enjoy seeing the dirty laundry of the dressing room being aired out in the open.

These matters should be kept in-house and Everton must search out and give the mole the boot before anything else.

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