By Will Butcher
Michael Ball has urged Everton to sign Wayne Rooney in the summer as he would benefit the club on and off the pitch.
Sky Sports reported last week that the 31-year-old Manchester United ace was set to consider a return back to Goodison Park, as well as offers from the MLS and the Chinese Super League.
In his Liverpool Echo column, former Everton defender Michael Ball claimed Rooney must be signed by the Merseyside outfit and would be “fabulous” for the Toffees’ younger stars.
“I believe his (Rooney) return to Goodison next season would be win-win,” Ball said. “It’s perfect for both parties. Rooney’s experience, class and pedigree will make Everton better.
“He would be fabulous for our younger players as well. Now I hope he comes back to Everton.”
Rooney has fallen down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, with the Portuguese boss having plenty of attacking options to choose from.
The five-time Premier League champion has made just nine league starts this season, scoring only five goals in all competitions with the squad.
Along with his five league titles won under Sir Alex Ferguson, Rooney has also won an FA Cup and a Champions League during his time with United.
United’s number 10 left Everton back in August 2004 after breaking through the Toffees’ academy set-up, and has since become the Premier League’s all-time second highest goalscorer.
Sky Sports claim that an offer was made by Everton in January for Rooney, and Ronald Koeman could re-enter the market for the versatile forward at the end of the season.
However, it remains to be seen how much England’s record goalscorer would cost his former side, with two and a half years still remaining on his current United contract.
Football Insider verdict:
With Everton currently lacking the quality that would see them break the mould of the Premier League’s top six clubs, Rooney could provide the difference that would aid the Toffees pursuit of finishing in the European qualification places. His ability from set-pieces, penalties and in all areas of the attacking third would boost any side, let alone his boyhood club. After coming through the academy system on Merseyside, Rooney’s fight and desire may be reinvigorated with the Toffees and that could benefit both Koeman’s side as well as Gareth Southgate’s England ahead of the 2018 World Cup. England fans will be desperate to see Rooney rediscover his best form ahead of next summer’s World Cup, and moving to Everton could be the spark needed just for that.
In other Everton transfer news, Frank Lampard is a huge fan of this player that has been reportedly shortlisted by the Toffees.