Former England captain Wayne Rooney returning to boyhood club Everton from Manchester United last summer was one for the romantic. It sounded like the story of one of Everton chairman Bill Kenwright’s plays.
However, football is no place for the romantic. It can be harsh and unforgiving. As much as most Evertonian’s, including Bill, wanted Rooney to succeed on Merseyside, he has enjoyed a mixed campaign for the Blues.
At this point, I highly doubt that many Evertonian’s would shed a tear if the 32-year-old exited the club. Well, the veteran star could well be leaving the Toffees this summer, with varying reports claiming he could be heading to MLS or even the SPL with a move to Rangers. Whether there is anything in those rumours only time will tell.
Allardyce wants Rooney to stay
Everton boss Sam Allardyce has stated that he has no problem with Rooney and he would like the forward to stay at the club, despite not always having the forward in his starting line-up since his appointment.
If reports and the fans feeling towards Allardyce are anything to go by, the 63-year-old will not be at the Merseyside club to decide whether Rooney stays or goes this summer.
Reportedly, Bill Kenwright wants the forward to stay at the club. However, he would as he is believed to have been the one pushing for Rooney to return to the club last summer.
Struggled at Everton
The signing of an ageing Rooney last summer was always a gamble. At United, he started to struggle for first-team football and fitness. The Everton hierarchy probably thought a return to Merseyside would revive his flagging career.
However, the sad truth is that wear and tear on his body through more than a decade and a half of football has meant he is struggling to compete at the top level. That is why the Red Devils allowed him to leave on a free last summer.
If he had not been who he was, then Rooney would not have arrived at Everton during last summer’s ill-fated spree of signings. Everton’s squad ended up majorly imbalanced and Rooney played a big part in that.
There was the big question of where the former England international would play in the team. The Toffees lacked a central striker in the summer. Rooney was never going to be able to play up front on his own. He no longer had the explosive pace of youth, so that meant finding a different role for him.
The number ten role is one he is accustomed to. However, the problem was that Everton had splashed out a club-record £45million to sign Icelandic playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson to play in that role.
Rooney did play that role, while Sigurdsson was shoved out onto the wing, which made the former Swansea player far less influential.
In more recent months, Rooney has been playing as a central midfielder. That move was more out of necessity, as the Toffees lacked a physical presence in midfield. However, Rooney struggled to complete matches in the role and was often substituted, including in the 0-0 draw against Liverpool.
Could leave this summer
I believe that now Rooney has been back to Everton, he can be happy to move on elsewhere this summer. The Toffees have a major restructuring job on their hands after their disastrous transfer window last summer.
Everton are likely to sign a new central midfielder, while Sigurdsson is also likely to occupy the number ten role next season. It is difficult to see where Rooney fits in and he is likely to struggle for minutes on the pitch for the Merseysiders.
Rooney returning was almost the symbol of Everton wasting last summer on poor recruitment and bad decisions. The Toffees look set to finish eighth-place in the table, but their league position does not tell the whole story of a torrid season.
Everton faces a trip to West Ham on Sunday for their final game of the season, a game the Toffees are odds of 21/10 to win. Some are speculating that the game may be Allardyce’s last in charge of the Blues. It could also be Wayne Rooney’s last in an Everton shirt, which may not be a bad thing for all parties concerned.
Will Wayne Rooney be an Everton player next season?
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