On the 73rd minute of Duncan Ferguson’s testimonial, to a standing ovation, Wayne Rooney made his first appearance in an Everton shirt since his move to Manchester United in the summer of 2004. The United captain enjoyed 17 minutes back at Goodison against Villarreal, partnered with Big Dunc upfront, a special moment for us all. Two years on and Everton are still being linked with Rooney. Over the years, it’s seems to be a matter of time rather than if he makes his Goodison return, a “boyhood blue” himself and even his son supporting The Toffees, looks like important factors for his comeback. For Everton fans, it’s been a very difficult one to call, should he join or should he stay where he is? If you are a twitter enthusiast like I am, you probably know my opinion and here is my analysis why I think Rooney shouldn’t be making a “homecoming” at Everton.
The Blues currently and just how good is the team?
Everton have made a surprising return into the top 7, even being in contender for a Champions League place this season. Europa League is a certainty now, so squad depth is crucial. Currently, I think the team is better and more prepared for European football than it was 3 years ago. Somehow Lukaku has stayed this long, the quality of our midfield has gone up significantly, and offensively we are one of the best around. However, as the Derby proved, missing players through injury can knock us, Coleman is out for a long, long time and missing Schneiderlin was gigantic loss in our midfield. Making signings this summer window is vital.
As for Rooney, he has only racked up just 1,000 minutes this season in the PL – his lowest amount in his Manchester United career. Wayne has scored just three goals this season, against Bournemouth, Stoke and Burnley, which has taken his tally over Bobby Charlton’s United record of 249 goals at the Red Devils, to become their top ever goal scorer. Not only that, but Rooney’s position has changed dramatically over this season, sometimes playing striker, sometimes playing on the wing, sometimes playing number 10 and even playing deeper in midfield.
So where would his position be at Everton? No way is he going to be the replacement for Lukaku if he eventually leaves, the midfield link between Davies, Schneiderlin and Gueye surely wouldn’t be broken. As a winger, we badly need someone to create chances out of nowhere and has blistering pace, is Rooney really that? Most Everton fans have turned to me and said, “He’ll be a good squad player.” Not being funny, but even I have more ability than Arouna Kone these days. Should we be signing players that we can all say can challenge for a first team spot on a weekly basis, or just a good substitute player?
Not only that, but the “He’ll have a good influence on the youngsters” quotation is a complete myth. Look at New York City. Having players like David Villa and Andrea Pirlo in the same team is some statement, can you name any youngster that has come from their academy during the time they’ve been there? They get paid to play, not coach younger players! Young players such as Lookman, Calvert-Lewin and Davies will get a thousand times more development from quality coaching, rather than seeing Rooney rock-up to training.
Financial Gain – Could it increase?
I’m not an expert when it comes to finances, but Everton’s branding has been abysmal over the last few seasons. Finishing in poor places hasn’t really helped us, but even when we were contending for CL after the Nike deal, we were still handed regurgitated kits and that crime of a new badge. This season’s kits are still the worst I’ve seen in a while, Umbro putting more attention into West Ham’s than our own – and that is a fact too.
Having Moshiri on board will change things, but having a deal with a great kit manufacture like Adidas will boost the club’s identity significantly. A big signing out of the blue would also boost us as well, we were all crying for a big marquee signing last summer and missing the chances for Mata and Witsel were gut-wrenching, especially if we want to announce ourselves that the “old Everton is back”. Can you imagine the press if we splashed £50m on Van Dijk? It wouldn’t matter if the player would be world-class or a flop, the hype around Goodison would be outrageous. There would be no way that Rooney would generate anywhere near that status.
Not only that, but we would be losing a lot of money on his wages if he joined back also. Currently, Rooney is on £15.6m per season and earns four times the amount of money than any Everton player is currently on. Even if we half his wages, that is still double the amount anybody at the club is currently on. If you were any first-team player and somebody who was sitting on the bench on a weekly basis was earning double you earned, would you just sit there and take it? It’s a more a negative than a positive that we would be paying out this money whilst not improving anybody else’s contract at the club.
Rooney’s current ability
Wayne may have made 5 assists this season, but his current ability doesn’t match what Everton really needs in attack, a player of high creativity who can keep the ball, whilst providing width. Players like Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech and Montpellier’s Ryad Boudebouz are examples, but not 31-year old Rooney who is being thrown in every position possible.
Compared to our two current wingers, Barkley and Mirallas, you can see he is well past their performances currently. He’s made the fewest take ons, the fewest total duels % and the fewest key passes per game than either of the current wingers at the club. This is from a player who has made the fewest minutes also, he isn’t a starter at United anymore, a club who is only a position above us! How about we show some more ambition, Ziyech, Boudebouz, Forsberg would all be better options than Wayne Rooney in the Everton squad.
Everton fans are also forgetting what Koeman is trying to imply in the squad, high pressing play. Putting this in has allowed Ross Barkley, Idrissa Gueye and even Kevin Mirallas to thrive in, all 3 of them having a good number of minutes on the pitch. Maybe if Rooney was a few years younger, he could fit in the system, but having only played 1,107 minutes this season, I strongly believe he will not be capable of playing under Koeman’s tactics.
I can understand why some fans do want him and I am not questioning what Rooney has achieved in football, it’s astonishing, but he simply isn’t good enough in my eyes. If we do sign him, I do wish this article was completely false and he proves me wrong, but I just don’t see it unfortunately. This summer is yet again a huge one, especially after news about the stadium and Koeman’s promises of a big summer. In my eyes, Rooney should not be in his plans nor Everton’s next season.
Stats via Squawka and transfermarkt,
Up the Toffees.