A transfer that has held a place in the hearts of most Everton fans for years now has finally come to fruition. While there is a section of Toffees who wanted nothing to do with Wayne Rooney after he left the club seeking another with bigger ambitions, the majority of fans feel much more benevolently to a born and bred Blue who went on to become Manchester United’s greatest ever goalscorer, and one of English football’s biggest players of all time.
Everton today announced the transfer of Rooney back to the club thirteen years after he left for United, with the player having often said that he would only play for those two clubs in England. There is no official confirmation of the transfer fee as yet, but it is believed to be in the £10m range as part of the discount for the transfer of Romelu Lukaku in the opposite direction.
Rooney has signed a two year contract rumored to be around £150,000 a week, which will make him, for the time being, Everton’s highest earner.
Speaking about the return to his boyhood club, Rooney said the following to EvertonTV:
“It’s a great feeling to be back. I’m excited, I cannot wait to meet the lads, get on the training pitch and then get on the pitch to play. I’m ecstatic – I just cannot wait to get back playing.
“I’m excited, and I’m excited by the signings that the Club have made. This club is moving forward. This football club should be winning trophies and we’re taking huge steps to being involved and trying to win trophies.
“The first game back will be an emotional day for me and I’m looking forward to it. I’m not just coming back because it’s the team I support, the team I grew up playing for - I’m coming back because I feel the Club can move forward and be successful. I want to be part of it. There will be pressure on me to perform, but I’m ready to go. I believe I can help move this club forward and be more successful on the pitch.
“With the new stadium in the pipeline, it’s an exciting time to be an Everton player, to be an Everton fan. It’s on us players to make those times even more exciting by giving them good performances and try to help them be successful and bring trophies to the Club.
It’s long been clear that for Rooney in England, it was Goodison Park or bust, and the footballing icon stayed true to his word.
“As I’ve said for the last few years, if I left Manchester United, there’s only Everton and Manchester United I’d play for - I wouldn’t play for another Premier League team.
“I was true to that and I firmly meant that. I didn’t want to play for another club in England other than Everton. Once I knew Everton were interested and wanted to sign me, I made my agent aware, ‘Go and speak to them, let’s make it happen. That’s where I want to go’.”
The 31-year-old was said to be a priority signing for both manager Ronald Koeman and chairman of the club Bill Kenwright, with fans clamoring for years that they should bring Rooney back home.
Speaking about the return of the prodigal son to Goodison Park, Koeman said -
“Wayne has shown me that ambition that we need and that winning mentality – he knows how to win titles and I’m really happy he’s decided to come home.
“He loves Everton and he was desperate to come back. He is still only 31 and I don’t have any doubts about his qualities. It’s fantastic he’s here.”