England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has recovered from the injury which kept him out of the recent Euro 2016 qualifiers.
That means he will be in the Red Devils squad to face former-club Everton later today at Goodison Park.
Wayne Rooney was a hero amongst the Everton fans, a local lad made good for the Toffees. That changed in 2004 when their star youngster joined Manchester United in a deal worth around £30million.
To say the deal angered the Goodison faithful would be an understatement. Those feelings of anger have now faded and Everton have moved on. However it seems Rooney has not got over his feelings for the Toffees.
Rooney has scored just twice in ten appearances at Goodison Park since his move to Old Trafford. He struggles to have an impact at his former home ground, despite the fact that there is now very little anger emanating from the Goodison Park crowd.
It is not just at Everton Rooney has struggled to score though, as the England star has scored just one Premier League goal this season.
Rooney is now playing in a deeper role than he has in previous seasons for United, with Anthony Martial the focal point of the United attack. Rooney is playing as a number ten, which is often considered his best position.
Rooney’s lack of goals and form this season has led to major criticism by fans. Some United fans have even suggested that the England captain should be dropped from the Red Devils starting line-up.
That may be slightly harsh on a player who has helped the club achieve so much in the last decade. However, sometimes there is no room for sentiment when a club is attempting to return to former glories.
Rooney has received the backing of boss Louis van Gaal. The Dutch boss said: “Maybe against Everton his average is not so good, so it’s getting time that he changed that pattern,”
“I don’t know [why he has struggled], that you have to ask Wayne, but I’m a manager who analyses opponents and gives him advice as to how we can disorganise Everton’s defence and then maybe he can score.”
The Dutchman needs to do something to shake the forward back into form, because he has struggled to have an impact in the league this season. The 29-year-old will continue to be criticised if he does not find form.
Fans are not always the most forgiving people in the world and can often be hard on the clubs big players. However they pay those big wages so expect certain standards of the players representing their team.
Everton have started their Premier League campaign in a decent manner and suffered just one defeat, from what looked like a tough start to the season. The side from Merseyside will also be able to welcome back highly-rated youngster John Stones into their starting line-up.
The Chelsea target has missed the last two games through injury, but new signing Ramiro Funes Mori has not let anybody down as his replacement. The return of Republic of Ireland full-back Seamus Coleman at right-back will also be a lift.
Everton are not infallible at the back, as Coleman and opposite full-back Brendan Galloway will raid forward at every opportunity. The Toffees keeping a clean sheet often depends on whether central midfield pair Gareth Barry and James McCarthy are having good games, which is not always the case.
Rooney certainly has a chance of breaching that Everton backline, but it will not be easy, as John Stones and England international colleague Phil Jagielka have formed a good partnership at the heart of the Toffees defence.
Wayne Rooney has been a superb servant to Manchester United and had a hand, or foot, in everything that Manchester United has achieved in the last decade. It is far too early to write the striker off even if he is not the force he has been in the past.
Rooney is odds of 11/5 to score at his former ground, but at the moment I would not be backing the striker to score. The striker will rediscover his scoring form at some point, whether that comes on his old stomping ground only time will tell.
Can Wayne Rooney return to scoring ways against Everton?