Friday, September 21, 2018

Ask Everton – Rooney suggests MLS switch was out of his hands

SoccerNews in MLS 2 Jul 2018

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Wayne Rooney told reporters they should “ask Everton” why the Premier League club decided to let him leave to join DC United.

Rooney returned to Goodison Park last July following a trophy-laden 13-year stint at Manchester United, and went on to net 11 goals for the Toffees, finishing 2017-18 as their top scorer.

The 32-year-old failed to find consistency in an often struggling side, though, and manager Marco Silva and director of football Marcel Brands confirmed in June that the former England captain was in talks with MLS club DC.

The forward finally completed the move on Thursday, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract, but suggested that the decision to leave Merseyside was not just down to him.

“It’s football. Everton is a club I grew up supporting,” Rooney told a news conference.

“I was grateful and delighted to go back there last summer, but in football you never know what’s around the corner and I decided to come here.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of questions about why I left Everton, and the people who want to know will have to ask Everton football club and let them answer that.

“I made the decision to be here, I’m delighted to be here. I’m excited and just looking forward to the first game.”

Rooney joins a side that finished bottom of the Eastern Conference in 2017, and currently occupy the same spot this campaign, but England’s leading goalscorer insists DC are heading in the right direction.

“It’s a league I’ve watched from afar for a couple of years,” he continued.

“And speaking to people at the club over the last few months, I was excited by the project, the new stadium, the new training ground, the team, a young team.

“We have to improve, that’s clear to see, but I think there’s talent in the team and with a bit of guidance on and off the pitch I can help them and they can help me.

“I’m sure there’s more [big] players going to come in, hopefully that’s the case anyway, and we want to keep trying to build on the team.

“I know it’s been a tough few years, but the league has got better and they’re going in the right direction. In order for the club to move forward we will need to bring a few more players in.”

Rooney, who missed the final two games of Everton’s season due to injury, is set to make his DC debut against Vancouver Whitecaps in their maiden fixture at Audi Field on July 14.

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