The future of Wayne Rooney has been a hot topic ever since Jose Mourinho was unveiled as Manchester United manager last summer. Many observers believed it would be the death knell for the 31-year-old’s glittering career at Old Trafford.
Rooney joined United as an 18-year-old, shortly after lighting up Euro 2004 where he emerged as one of the greatest talents this country has produced in a generation. He has gone on to win the Premier League five times and the Champions League in 2008 – and this season he became United’s all-time record goalscorer when he surpassed Sir Bobby Robson’s tally of 249.
However, Rooney has become a peripheral figure under Mourinho, with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all preferred to him in the side. The England man made only 25 Premier League appearances and scored just five times last season, as he spent much of the campaign on the substitutes’ bench.
Speculation that Mourinho was willing to offload Rooney has persisted and a link with his former club Everton has not gone away. Now, according to talkSPORT, the big-spending Toffees are expecting to re-sign Rooney this summer.
Ronald Koeman has already splashed out roughly £100 million in the transfer market as he looks to transform Everton into a genuine force. Re-signing Rooney, a boyhood Evertonian, would certainly be a huge statement of intent – but is he really what they need?
Rooney’s favoured position is at number 10, in behind an out-and-out striker. It maximises his vision and ability to pick a pass. Pace has never been his greatest asset and given his advancing years, his days as a number nine are surely numbered. Although he did not feature in Gareth Southgate’s most recent England squad, when he has been involved it has been in a withdrawn role.
Everton are well stocked in regards to attacking midfielders. They recently signed the highly-rated Davy Klassen from Ajax for £23 million and still have Ross Barkley among their ranks, although he has been linked with a move away after failing to agree terms on a new contract. The emergence of Tom Davies has been another plus point at Goodison Park. Rooney would add depth, but given his age and wage demands, he is unlikely to offer great value.
talkSPORT understands that Rooney would be open to rejoining the club he supported as a youngster. They claim Everton are the only Premier League club he would consider playing for, other than United. If Mourinho does give his blessing for Rooney to leave, then staying in England would keep alive his international ambitions.
Rooney is still the official Three Lions captain, although Harry Kane took the armband in the recent fixtures against Scotland and France. A move to China or the USA would surely signal the end of an England career that has seen him win 119 caps and score 53 goals – a national record.
There’s no doubt that landing Rooney would be a massive coup for Everton. The club’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, is determined to restore the club to its former glories and as their summer spending spree has demonstrated, he has given his total backing to Koeman in the transfer market.
However, the money that would be required to fund Rooney’s wages and transfer fee could be better spent elsewhere, if Moshiri is going to realise his ambition.