According to Sky Sports, former England captain Wayne Rooney is set to become player-coach at Derby, in what would be an incredible move by the Rams. The 33-year-old has two years left on his deal with MLS outfit DC United.
The forward has only spent a year in the US top-flight, having made the switch stateside last summer on a free transfer from boyhood club Everton last summer. It looks like his stay in the US could be short-lived. Some reports suggest that Rooney and his family are homesick.
Failed to work out at Everton
Wayne Rooney’s return to Everton in 2017 from Manchester United was not the fairytale everybody involved would have hoped it would have been. In reality, United allowed the forward to leave the club because he was no longer good enough to play regularly for the Red Devils.
Rooney enjoyed a decent season with Everton on his return, finishing as the team’s top scorer with 10 goals. However, the campaign was a poor one for the Toffees and the experienced forward became a symbol of that poor campaign.
The Toffees had too many square pegs in round holes, or just simply too many number tens. Rooney left last summer in search of regular football, something which he was not guaranteed at Everton.
Still a lot to give
Wayne Rooney’s body may be showing signs of wear and tear, but he will never lose his football brain. During recent seasons, the veteran star has played in a number of different positions.
His football intelligence means that he will be an asset for any team, although the Premier League may be slightly too much for him at this stage of his career. The Championship is a competitive league.
However, there is a big difference in quality between the teams in the Premier League and the Championship. Rooney may well thrive in the second tier, as he still has plenty to give, even if it not playing every minute of every game.
Derby boss Philip Cocu is new to the English game. It could be highly valuable to have somebody with the experience of Rooney on his coaching staff and on the field orchestrating things. His experience could just be the key to helping the Rams gain promotion back to the top-flight after years of near misses under various bosses in recent years.
Derby one of the favourites for promotion
Derby have seemingly been in around the play-off spots in the Championship forever. Last season the Rams suffered a play-off final against Aston Villa under now-Chelsea boss Frank Lampard. Once again, this season, Derby are one of the favourites to gain promotion at odds of 5/1. The addition of Rooney would give the club a major boost when it comes to profile and revenue.
It will also give Rooney the opportunity to hone his coaching skills alongside the highly-rated Cocu. It seems like a move that suits everybody apart from DC United of course, who Rooney has starred for in the last year.
However, the MLS outfit has found a replacement for the former Everton star in the shape of Norwegian striker Ola Kamara, who will arrive for a fee of around £2million from Chinese club Shenzhen.
If Rooney, as expected completes the move to Derby, then it seems that the experienced forward may well be back in his homeland for good. He obviously fancies his chances of becoming a coach and a boss in the future.
If he can apply all the knowledge he has gained under the great bosses he has played for Rooney may well have a bright future in coaching ahead of him.
Will signing Wayne Rooney help Derby’s promotion chances?
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