Why Everton’s signing of Wayne Rooney is a step in the wrong direction

11 July 2017 11:48

Last week Wayne Rooney completed his return to boyhood club Everton, writing the final chapter in a fairy tale career.

Although over the past three seasons Rooney has found game time hard to come by as Manchester United went through turbulent manager changes, it’s undeniable that he has and a fantastic career.

But for Everton, one of the most forward-thinking clubs in the Premier League, it goes against their precedent of signing young, talented player that will be good for seasons to come and have high resale value.

Rooney played for two years in Everton’s first team between 2002-2004, making 67 appearances and scoring 15 goals.

His form as a fresh-faced 19-year-old saw him move to Manchester United, becoming the world’s most expensive teenager in history in the process.

Now, after a 13-year absence, Rooney has made a poetic return to Merseyside. But do Everton need Rooney?

As part of the deal which saw Rooney move to Everton, the Toffee’s also sold Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for a reported £75 million. They are big boots to fill for a 31-year-old.

The big Belgian scored 40% of all of Everton’s goals last season, something that Ronald Koeman’s man can’t expect Rooney to do.

Lukaku was rough around the edges, with many on social media quick to point out his poor first touch, but his physical presence, speed, and sheer power is something that would be impossible for Rooney to replicate.

But as we know, Rooney has started playing deeper in midfield in recent season, so is that an option for Everton.

Well, it would definitely seem odd. Everton’s midfield is strong and in the formation that Ronald Koeman likes to play, a 4-2-3-1, it would be expected that Rooney could play in any position in the front four.

However, Everton have already signed Dutch international Davy Klaassen and already have Ross Barkley, Tom Davies and Yannick Bolasie who can play in those positions. Rooney’s experience could be invaluable but when you have youngsters like Davies and Barkley coming through your ranks, you need to give them game time.

There is speculation that Barkley’s time at Everton is up but they would be stupid to let him go that easily. Barkley showed high potential from a young age and is good friends with Rooney, meaning that Rooney could mentor the young Englishman.

It would be frustrating to see young talent leave Everton just to accommodate some nostalgia amongst the Everton faithful.

I have no doubt that Rooney will be a success at Everton in the immediate future but if Everton really want to kick on and challenge for the top 4, they need to be making more ambitious signings then this.

Source: DSG