With every passing transfer window the ‘Rooney to return’ rumours seem to get louder and louder yet he stays put. I write this because there have been many calls on recent social media for Wayne Rooney to return to our club. Hopefully with the upward direction the club seems to be going the calls to bring Wayne Rooney back will cease once and for all.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan. He’s been Englands best player since Gazza and I don’t blame him for one second for doing what he did. Look what he’s won! At best for us he may have been the difference in a cup final we may have reached. He could have and would have been an Everton legend but at the time we needed a cash injection as well as our star player. Both it seemed were impossible and crucially, he wanted to win things.
When Wayne left all those years ago I was gutted. I’d had similar feelings before of course. Alan Ball leaving when I was a couple of months short of my 10th birthday was the first for me. My dad still gets angry at the ripe old age of 81 when we talk about it. Duncan McKenzie, Howard Kendall as manager, Trevor Steven and Gary Lineker were the big ones for me and incomprehensible at the time. These went with others who were sold as they were reaching their prime such as Ken McNaught, Steve McMahon (at the time), Martin Keown, Mikel Arteta together with Andrei Kanchelskis and Duncan Ferguson followed over the years, sold without my permission.
At the time, my view was that if Wayne had stayed just a year or two more, he would have left the club with the good wishes of the fans and fondly remembered as one of Everton’s greats who reluctantly had to leave the club for the sake of his career. I don’t believe that to be the case anymore. Unless he had stayed for the bulk of his career, his leaving would always have been bitter. His kissing of the Man Utd badge wound me up like most fans but the stick he took on that day was incessant. I would have always have had him back, until now.
During the Moyes years when the club was stuck in a low ambition, low spend period I thought the only way Wayne Rooney would come back would be in his 30’s as a swansong to his career, similar to the Gascoigne and Ginola signings, way too late to be of any use. Which is where is see him now.
He is still good enough to be picked for a poor national team and is just about being picked for an ordinary Man Utd but that is not good enough for us. If he was going to return he should have done it at least a year ago. Maybe if Farhad Moshiri had bought into the club a couple of years earlier we would have been in a position to buy him? His wages of course also being a prohibiting factor.
So when it comes to the summer and Wayne is heading towards his 32nd birthday i’d like to think the club would have greater ambition than to consider him. Even on a free transfer his wages would be astronomical and would he be good enough for a regular slot in a team with a minimum expectation of a champions league place? I don’t think so. To me, his destiny is more likely to be China and the opportunity to treble his wage packet. I can’t even see him coming back as a coach in the future, although you never know, once a blue and all that! Thankfully the last couple of weeks of this transfer window the calls for his return seem to have subsided. It shows our new ambition is spreading and we won’t now accept second best – Isn’t that a good feeling!
It’s only an opinion but I don’t see why, with the future looking more positive than in a long time, we need him. Surely you replace players you have with ones that are better? He would be a good role model for the younger players but so are those already at the club. it’s great to see he attends Everton matches with his sons, bringing them up as blues but he’s a Man Utd legend now, not our legend. That ship sailed in 2004.