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Wayne Rooney returns to Everton after 13 years
Wayne Rooney left Everton for Manchester United in 2004 as a rising star. On Sunday the 31-year-old returned from United as a fading light in the Old Trafford constellation.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson paid the Merseysiders 30 million euros for the potential. Rooney repaid the price with a welter of goals and stellar performances
During his 13 years at Old Trafford, Rooney won five Premier League trophies, the Uefa Champions League, one FA Cup and three League Cups.
But at first under Louis Van Gaal, and increasingly with Jose Mourinho as manager in the last campaign, Rooney has not been the first name on the team sheet even though he still carried the title of captain.
He made just 15 Premier League starts and came on as a substitute in another 10. He was on the bench for the League Cup final win over Southampton and was sent on in the 90th minute of the 2-0 victory over Ajax in the Europa League final in May.
During his career at United, he became the club’s record goalscorer with 251 strikes and also claimed the same accolade for England with 53 goals.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman, who lost star striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United on Saturday, said he was confident that Rooney would bring a winner’s mentality to the squad.
"Wayne has shown me that ambition that we need. He knows how to win titles and I'm really happy he's decided to come home. "
The Dutchman added: “Wayne loves Everton and he was desperate to come back. He is still only 31 and I don't have any doubts about his qualities. It's fantastic he's here."
Distanced from the England squad by manager Gareth Southgate because of his irregular appearances for United, there is a chance that more playing time might bring a return to the national team.
"I have come back to Everton because I believe Ronald Koeman is building a team that can win something and I look forward to playing my part in making that a reality for the club I have supported since a boy," said Rooney in a statement to the Press Association.
"It is some time since I said that the only Premier League club I would play for other than Manchester United was Everton, so I am delighted that the move has happened.
"Thirteen years ago I went to United with the intention of winning trophies and I have been fortunate to be a part of one of the most successful periods in the club's history.”