Could It Be Wayne Rooney In and Ross Barkely Out At Everton?

After the final game of the Premier League season, we automatically turn our attention to next season and think about possible pre-season transfers.

The end of a campaign usually sees a fresh start for many a player as they wave goodbye to fans that they’ve entertained for a season or longer.

You got the feeling when Wayne Rooney walked off the Old Trafford pitch to a standing ovation in the dying minutes of Manchester United’s win over Crystal Palace, that the Red Devils captain was saying cheerio to the United faithful at their home ground one last time.

The England captain will obviously want to take part and leave with a Europa league winners medal on Wednesday night but his appearance yesterday will probably be his last bit of action as a United player in the Premier League.

The player has had a disappointing term this year under Jose Mourinho. He no longer looks like a striker capable of banging in the goals each and every week. No matter the position Jose would find for Wayne in his team, Rooney failed to make that role his own. Until Mourinho just decided to drop the star and use him sparingly for the rest of the season.

Becoming Man Utd’s all-time leading goalscorer was obviously Rooney’s highlight in a largely unsatisfying season.

But alas all good things must come to an end and now Wayne has to decide on what to do next.

That’s also a question for Everton’s Ross Barkley this summer.

If Toffees boss Ronald Koeman is to be believed then Barkley has to have an answer immentantely on whether or not he’ll be staying at Goodison beyond this season.

The play-maker only has one year left on his current deal and he’s stalled on signing a new one. This has lead to speculation linking the England midfielder with a move to either Tottenham Hotspur or Manchester City.

Koeman still seems unconvinced by Barkley’s potential and might by happy to cash in on the talent.

If that is indeed the Dutchman’s end game then could his vacant space in the squad be filled by former Blue Wayne Rooney?

Every Evertonian will remember fondly when Rooney, a sixteen year old sensation, made his professional debut for the club back in 2002. Later on in that same season, he’d also make his international debut and go on to become England’s all-time leading goalscorer.

The Everton support don’t look back at his departure from Goodison in August 2004 with any fondness. They believed Rooney was one of them and didn’t like the fact that he helped orchestrate his £30m move to Old Trafford.

But time might be a great healer for the hitman, if he does indeed rejoin the Toffees this summer.

Everton would get a player who knows the club and the support. He’s also vastly experienced and could help the development of top young stars at the Merseyside club like Andre Lookman and Tom Davies.

If money was Rooney’s main motive then he’d have joined the Chinese Super League back in the winter.   An MLS move may still interest Wayne and his family. But you get the feeling the lure of returning home to Liverpool would be strong and he could believe that he’s got unfinished business with Everton and in England’s top flight.

As the attacker has aged he seems more natural in the number ten role rather than as an all out striker.

But a move for Rooney could all depend on Barkley’s contract decision.

You’d imagine that both would want that position in, around and just behind the main frontman.

I believe signing Barkley to a long-term deal and then re-signing Rooney would potentially be a bad move for both stars.

One would have to sit out and watch the other take his place. That would stall Barkley’s career or end Rooney’s in the Premier League.

But if Barkley were to leave then I’d expect Koeman and the Everton board to go all out in their pursuit of Rooney. It would show an intent in bringing in players that can help the side and help promote the club globally.

If Ross Barkely decides to stay at Goodison and sign a new contract then surely it would be in everyone’s best interests that Koeman decides against bringing in Wayne Rooney and instead building his team around the twenty-three year old creative midfielder.

All should be more clear this time next week!

Leave a Reply