After 13 years at Manchester United Wayne Rooney has rejoined Everton Football Club. Wayne put pen to paper on Saturday and signed a 2-year contract.
The 31-year-old boyhood Blue made 77 appearances for Everton and scored 17 goals between 2002 – when he made his Premier League debut as a 16-year-old – and 2004 when he departed for Old Trafford.
In a 15-year career, he has won the Champions League, Europa League, five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup and scored 323 goals.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman was a big part of Wayne’s return, explaining his decision to bring Wayne back he 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.”
England’s all-time leading goalscorer admits putting on the Blue shirt again will be “an emotional day”. An excited Rooney told evertontv: “(Winning trophies with Everton) would be the pinnacle. I really feel now the Club is moving in the right direction, bringing the right calibre of players in. I want to be part of it and hopefully part of a successful Everton team.
“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.”
“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’.”
Wayne revealed how Everton manager Ronald Koeman and Chairman Bill Kenwright played key roles in bringing him back to Goodison, he said: “Ronald Koeman was very influential in me coming here. When it was obvious I was going to be leaving Manchester United this summer, Ronald came out a few times and said how much he wanted me at the Club and that had a huge impact on me. There were other options there but once I knew that Everton wanted me to come back then it was the only option for me.
“Bill obviously played a big role in it but the important one was Ronald Koeman. He was the one who picks the team and he’s the one who has his ideas on the football pitch. There were a lot more things behind the scenes which needed to happen but, for me, the important person to speak to was Ronald Koeman.
“As I spoke to Ronald and saw it in his eyes that he wanted me to be part of his team, it was a no-brainer for me and the only place I was going to go.”
Manchester United have been paying tribute to Wayne with a ‘Farewell Rooney’ campaign across their digital channels and floods of good luck messages have been pouring in from fans, players and managers. Jose Mourinho said: “It is no secret that I have long been an admirer of Wayne; he has been a model professional throughout his time at the club and will remain in the history books for many years to come.
“It is never easy to see a great player playing less football than he would like and I could not stand in his way when he asked to go back to Everton. His experience, focus and determination will be missed and I wish him well for the future.”
Looked back on Wayne’s time at United, Ed Woodward said: “Wayne has been a fantastic servant to United since the moment he signed for us as a prodigiously talented, explosive teenager some 13 seasons ago.
“Who can forget his storybook debut hat trick against Fenerbahce, the spectacular overhead kick against City and the countless match-winning performances in his time here? But after much discussion, the club has decided to accept his request to rejoin his boyhood team.
“He goes having created some of the most magical moments in some of the most successful years in the club’s history. Wayne leaves us as our greatest ever goalscorer and having won every major trophy in the game. His record will take decades for anyone to get close to matching and I am extremely grateful for the way he has led from the front since being appointed club captain three years ago.
“On behalf of the whole club and our hundreds of millions of fans around the world, we wish Wayne all the very best for the next phase of his incredible career.”
Michael Carrick took to twitter to say: “ Blew me away how good he was from day 1. Outrageous. Had ups and downs but what a ride we’ve been on. Gonna miss him. Good luck pal. #Legend.”
Ander Herrera posted a touching message on Instagram, he said: “One day I will be able to tell my grandkids I played with you. All the best and thank you. #FarwellToALegend.”
Former players also posted their good luck message, Gary Neville said: All the best Wayne Rooney and congratulations on a great Manchester United career. The best striker I played with and saw at the cub.”
Sir Bobby Charlton, who presented Wayne with a golden boot after he overtook him as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, has always been an admirer of Wayne, he commented: “Wayne is a true great. He has thrilled us over the years and has enjoyed a hugely successful career at United.”
Wayne took to his social media platforms to send a thank you message to everybody connected with Manchester United, he said: “Just want to say a massive thank you to everybody at Manchester United. Thanks to the boards over the years, the managers and coaches I’ve played under, the staff I’ve worked with, the team mates I’ve played alongside, and finally the amazing fans that I’ve been lucky enough to have played for. Thanks for the memories!”