According to reports in The Times on June 5, Everton have agreed terms with MLS outfit DC United over the transfer of Wayne Rooney, with new Toffees boss Marco Silva obviously deciding that he doesn’t want to keep the 32-year-old for the final year of his Goodison Park contract.
It is certainly a huge call by the Portuguese manager and director of football Marcel Brands after a tough 2017/18 campaign, that was partly salvaged with an eighth-place finish under Sam Allardyce.
The 63-year-old’s successor has already shown that he isn’t afraid to make huge and controversial decisions in the case of the boyhood Everton fan, who only returned to Merseyside from Manchester United last summer.
According to reports in The Mirror, the 119-cap former England international is furious as he feels he has been forced out having learnt that he isn’t in Silva’s plans for the 2018/19 season.
The report says that Rooney expected to end his career with the Toffees having re-joined them in 2017, but instead he has been left with little choice but to agree to join DC United a year or two before he would have planned on leaving Everton, as he isn’t willing to stay and be given little game time.
While Silva’s and the club’s decision is understandable in some ways given he will turn 33 years of age in October, his high wages and the fact that he perhaps wasn’t as influential as he would have been expected to be last term, it has still come as something of a shock to fans, the majority of whom don’t want their club to sign a disgruntled 19-year-old instead of William Carvalho, and neutrals alike.
Despite often playing in a holding or central midfield role rather than in his preferred central attacking midfield or centre-forward position, the former Red Devil ended the season as the Merseyside outfit’s top goalscorer with 11 goals in 40 appearances in all competitions, and he surely would add something in both of those latter roles next season.
His impressive tally included a hat-trick in a 4-0 win against West Ham United at Goodison Park back in November, where he showed the quality that he has with a goal from his own half following a poor Joe Hart clearance.
Rooney may not have produced on other occasions, but he is still a huge character on and off the pitch and has the stature and personality to not only help what could be a younger Toffees team next term, but also help attract big-name players to join the club.
Given many other signings like Davy Klaassen and Gylfi Sigurdsson failed to produce what would have been expected of them as well, it seems harsh that the 32-year-old is the one that Silva has chosen to sacrifice just 12 months before his contract is due to expire.
The aim for Everton – as it was before the start of last season – will be to try and gatecrash the big Premier League clubs and secure a top-six finish, which is certainly doable if they can pick up results on a consistent basis seeing as they don’t have the distraction of European football that Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea do.
Rooney’s experience and quality in matches where they need a goal or need to hang onto a lead would have been priceless, and even though Silva is only in the early stages of his managerial career on Merseyside, he has already made what will prove to be his biggest error of the entire summer.