Everton has completed the signing of Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney on a 2-year deal, 13 years after he had swapped Goodison Park for Old Trafford.
It was with the Toffees where Rooney burst on to the scene, progressing from schoolboy to superstar in less than 12 months. The Croxteth-born forward weighed in with eight goals in as many games during the Blues’ FA Youth Cup run in 2002 – an achievement which earned a first-team chance at the start of the following season.
He made his Everton debut on the opening day of the 2002/03 campaign against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park, and then became Everton’s youngest-ever goalscorer when he netted against Wrexham in the Worthington Cup. Across his two full seasons with Everton, Rooney departed having scored 17 goals in all competitions from 77 appearances.
In August 2004, Manchester United paid £30 million – a world-record fee for a teenager – to acquire his services. In 13 campaigns at Old Trafford, Wayne Rooney enjoyed a Manchester United career laden with goals, awards and major trophies. However, he has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford, making just 25 appearances in all competitions last season, his lowest since he joined Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho said of his departing captain: “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,” Mourinho said.
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,” Woodward said.