Wayne Rooney is a polarizing figure among Everton fans. The forward is finding himself more and more disconnected from Louis van Gaal and his Manchester United plans, and the question of whether Everton should try to sign him or stay far away from him has come up on more than one occasion.
Royal Blue Mersey writers Matt Albaugh and Adam Braun present you both sides of the argument, vote below to tell us what you think.
Everton should bring Wayne Rooney home - by Matt Albaugh
Seeing Wayne Rooney pull on an Everton kit at Duncan Ferguson's testimonial was a pretty special moment. It appeared as though any hard feelings that Evertonians still had toward Rooney had finally dissipated. But what if we were able to see Rooney wear the royal blue of Everton every week? If the opportunity presented itself for Rooney to finish his career at his boyhood club should Everton jump at that chance? Absolutely.
Rooney's struggles this season at Manchester United have been well documented and he has taken the brunt of the criticism for United's failure to put goals on the board. Coupled with the arrival of Anthony Martial, it would not be out of the realm of possibility that Rooney may look to secure a move away from United in the near future. Leaving Van Gaal's defensive, low scoring system and playing under Roberto Martinez's attacking style could be just what the England captain needs.
The arrival of Rooney could immediately pay dividends in the locker room since having a leader of Rooney's caliber cannot be understated. This is a player that could bring a winning attitude to a club that is looking to feature in Europe on a yearly basis. Experience in these competitions is often overlooked and having Rooney, a player who has won league and Champions League titles, could only benefit the young core of Everton.
The days of Rooney scoring 25 goals in a season are likely long gone, but that does not mean that he wouldn't have a positive impact with the club. He still remains a powerful and technically gifted player who can help his team win in a variety of ways. There would also be an immediate boost to club depth at multiple positions due to Rooney's versatility around the pitch.
Sure, a player like Rooney would certainly cost more than Everton are used to spending, but it's tough to put a price tag on bringing a player like him back to the club. He could be just what the Toffees need to get to the next level.
Everton Should Steer Clear of Wayne Rooney - by Adam Braun
Wayne Rooney's appearance at Duncan Ferguson's testimonial was an absolutely wonderful moment for both the player and the club. But, there's no reason why, given the opportunity, Everton should consider making Rooney a permanent Toffee once again.
With Rooney struggling at Manchester United while Anthony Martial finds top form, it certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility that Louis van Gaal may be open to selling the English striker in January. If this is the case, Roberto Martinez should not have any interest in bringing in the 30-year-old, regardless of how romantic the notion may be.
First and foremost, bringing Rooney back would not make financial sense. It seems unlikely that United would be willing to sell Rooney for a transfer fee in an affordable range for the Toffees, who probably don't have a huge transfer budget after spending over the summer to bring in Gerard Deulofeu, Ramiro Funes Mori, Leandro Rodriguez, Mason Holgate, and Aaron Lennon.
Even if Martinez found the money to buy Rooney, his wage demands would probably make him the highest-paid player on the team. Provided he would only serve as a backup to Lukaku, such a wage bill simply would not make sense.
Additionally, Everton do not particularly need extra depth at striker at this point. Arouna Kone is currently playing his best football in an Everton kit, Steven Naismith continues to be a reasonable option at striker, and Martinez brought in Leandro Rodriguez for additional attacking depth as well. Even if adding Rooney made financial sense, that money would be better spent on bringing in depth at wing or the center of midfield.
After spending years as a star at a club regularly competing in Europe, it seems unlikely that Rooney would be content becoming a depth player at a mid-table club. If things continue as they have been at United, he may well want to leave, but there are surely better new locations for England's leading scorer.
In short, the reality is that Toffees do not need an expensive malcontent at a position in which the club already has reasonable depth. While the idea of bringing Wayne Rooney back to his boyhood club is a sexy one on the face of it, the details of such a move make it unwise for Everton.
Let's hear your opinions in the comments, and don't forget to vote in the poll below.