Kevin Kilbane believes Wayne Rooney should move to Everton this summer

by Leo Nieboer

Former Everton full-back Kevin Kilbane has encouraged Wayne Rooney to re-join his boyhood club this summer.

The 31-year-old, consigned primarily to the bench for important games under Jose Mourinho, insisted he would consider his numerous offers and make a “footballing decision” ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

Everton boss Ronald Koeman publicly advocated the idea of bringing the Englishman back to Goodison Park earlier this year.

And Kilbane, speaking to Goal, was notably keen on seeing his former Everton teammate make a return to where it all started.

Wayne Rooney will probably will leave United, yes,” he said.

“To go to Everton might be a good move for him because the way he left Everton didn’t quite work well for him from a personal point of view. Growing up he was a huge Everton fan.

“I think it will be a good move but his agent said that he has got offers from around the world. So it might not necessarily be to stay in the Premier League.

“It looks to me that he will be leaving Old Trafford. He might come to Asia, China, one of the European clubs or stay in the Premier League and go to Everton.

“Wherever he goes, I think he will be a valued member of that side because I still think he has the ability and can produce what he has shown in the past.

“As a striker now, probably no because as a number nine you need to be running off the defenders and he probably doesn’t have the pace that he had before.

“Pace is something what a number nine certainly requires. He can still score goals and I think he could play as a number 10 and as a midfield player. He has the ability to do that.”

For the shameless football romantic – and strong believer that the 31-year-old should be nowhere near Manchester United’s first team squad – than I am, Rooney returning to his boyhood club would be a poetic ending to what has been an historically brilliant career.

However, as previously noted on this site, the likelihood of Rooney joining Everton is small for strictly logistical reasons: his arrival would have a crippling impact on Everton’s wage structure and Man United are unwilling to help fund a chunk of his salary to push the move through.

The only way Rooney could pull on the blue shirt against would revolve around taking a massive pay-cut – which, given his record of exhorting higher wages from United on several occasions, seems somewhat unlikely.

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