When Wayne Rooney returned to Everton this summer, more than one person questioned how dedicated to the move he would be.
Sure, the romance of it was nice but was he really coming back to give his all or was he just looking for a nice final payday and a romantic end to his career?
The last few years have not been kind on Rooney, with Louis Van Gaal and then Jose Mourinho whittling away his confidence and form at Manchester United until the club was happy to see their record goalscorer leave.
Two Premier League games and two goals, as well as solid performances in Europe, mean few doubts remain about Rooney’s commitment to the Toffees.
The 31-year-old has been like a man reborn, dispelling doubts about his fitness, ability and everything else with several impressive displays.
So much so, England manager Gareth Southgate came calling this week to offer him a return to the international setup. It was a return Rooney refused. Instead, he decided to call a time on his Three Lions career once and for all.
He departs as their record goalscorer and while there may have not been any tangible success, to say he is not an England great would be foolish bordering on plain stupid.
While his retirement is a loss for England, although likely one they won’t appreciate right away, it is a huge gain for Everton. It also shows just how dedicated Rooney is to his boyhood club.
It would have been easy for him to make a return to the England team, play a couple of good games against inferior opposition and carry on from there.
Instead, he has elected to give his all to his club. Rather than splitting his time, his sole focus will be on the Blues.
He’s turned his back on his country, in a World Cup year no less, to give the last years of his career to Everton.
Ronald Koeman stated earlier this summer that he had spoken to Rooney and seen the fire in his eyes. He had seen the desire that the player had to come back to Goodison Park and be a success.
Words are cheap though, especially in this game. His international retirement is the perfect way for Rooney to put any doubts to bed. He’s at Everton to give his all and win things; you can’t question his dedication now.