Wayne Rooney completed his transfer to Everton yesterday with Romelu Lukaku coming in the opposite direction.
The striker has enjoyed a fantastic career, getting to make his debut for his boyhood team when he was a teenager, before moving to Manchester United and winning every trophy going, now seeing out the end of his career at Everton.
When returning to Goodison Park, the fans used to sing songs about him dying and he would respond by kissing the United badge. There was no love lost between them.
The hatred fellowed over recent seasons though. A documentary Rooney made for the BBC, which reflected on his early days in Merseyside, may have contributed. His appearance at Duncan Ferguson’s testimonial didn’t harm their relationship either, with a few boos being drowned out by applause when he pulled on the Everton jersey once more.
Since rejoining Everton, Rooney has revealed this wasn’t the first time since leaving the club that he wore the club’s crest.
“I’ve kept it quiet for the last 13 years, but I’ve actually been wearing Everton pyjamas at home with my kids,” Rooney said. “I had to keep that a bit quiet. [Wearing the Everton shirt] feels as special as it did 13 years ago and I’m just looking forward now to getting out on the pitch with it on.”
Rooney has also spoken about the happiness his father and eldest son, Kai, have felt about his return to Everton.
Yet you wouldn’t want to waste your EnergyBet promo code on Rooney outperforming Lukaku next season. Rooney may claim he doesn’t see Goodison Park as a retirement home, but the fact remains that if he was still good enough to play for United, he wouldn’t have given Everton a second though.
He couldn’t leave Merseyside quickly enough when United came calling in 2004. He’s won 12 trophies in 13 seasons since moving to Old Trafford, while Everton have won nothing.
Even as recently as the beginning of last season, Rooney claimed his plans were to extend his current deal beyond 2018 and retire at the club.
“I’ve said to United I want to stay there, finish my career there, so it’s a case of sitting down with United when the time’s right,” he said. “I’ve still got three years left. When I speak to them I’ll have a better idea.”
So while it’s lovely that Rooney has returned to Everton, rather than making his fortune abroad, before we get too misty-eyed we should probably be mindful of the fact the striker wanted to be at United but could no longer perform at the level required.
Still, best of luck to him.