As a teenager, Wayne Rooney of Everton wowed the world. Breaking into the first-team under David Moyes, the lifelong Evertonian set about turning himself into one of the best players of his generation. Though some might look at his longevity or his ability to stay consistent from season to season, it would be impossible to deny that Rooney was a world class player. However, his early exit from Everton – moving to Manchester United in a blockbuster move – had left plenty of unfinished business.
The forward had enjoyed legendary status at Old Trafford, but eventually left via the back door to return to his old club in Everton. However, despite some big moments in Blue – a goal against Liverpool and a hat-trick against West Ham United – the striker departed for MLS with DC United after a rather unfulfilling second act as a Blues striker. So, to many, the Wayne Rooney story with Everton is by no means finished.
And it looks like, if reports are correct, there could be a sensational return lined up for the player in the near future. Rooney is being linked with a move to Everton – this time as manager. Current manager, ex-Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez, has run out of goodwill with an already annoyed support. The club looks to try and find a way to cut costs whilst getting the fans onside, having wasted hundreds of millions during the Farhad Moshiri era.
The arrival of Rooney as manager would be a surprise, though. The striker has endured a tough time at Derby County, keeping the Midlands club up last year amid a background of financial disarray. The club is already looking dead-set to be relegated, with the Rams enduring a points deduction this season.
Could Wayne Rooney replace Rafael Benitez?
According to sources close to the club, though, Everton are growing tired of Benitez. The controversial hire was seen as one of many reasons why former Director of Football Marcel Brands left the club. Feeling disempowered and unable to put his stamp on the team, the Dutchman left and Benitez was thus given more power.
A 4-1 home loss to Liverpool was followed up by an impressive win against Arsenal, though the Blues returned to losing ways at the next weekend. As such, fans are beginning to turn on the Spaniard and it could be a move for Rooney – available for very little given the financial state of Derby – that inspires them to make a change.
Despite having no top-flight managerial experience, it would be a chance for Rooney to cut his teeth at the club he loves. A need to bring in more academy talent and to be smarter with their money, as well as to box clever on the coaching ground, would be ideal for Rooney.
However, his already on/off relationship with Everton fans means that it would be a hard sell. Given he might be replacing a former Reds manager, though, it would be easy to see why most Evertonians might hold their nose and hope for the best.