After leaving Everton to Manchester United for £27million on the summer deadline day of 2004, Wayne Rooney has returned to his boyhood club on a free transfer after agreeing a two-year deal.
The 31-year-old leaves Old Trafford after representing the club 559 times and as both England’s and United’s all-time leading goal scorer with 53 and 253 goals respectively.
United players past and present took to social media to pay tribute to Rooney for his achievements at Old Trafford.
In an interview after completing the move, Rooney, Everton’s sixth summer signing, said: “It’s a great feeling. The first day back will be an emotional day but I’m looking forward to it.
“I’m excited by the signings the club have made and I think the club are moving forward so we should be winning trophies now and that’s what I want to achieve.”
Rooney added Everton manager Ronald Koeman had been very influential in securing his return.
“Once I knew he and Everton were in for me and wanted me to come back, it was the only option for me.”
Once a Blue, always a Blue…
— Everton (@Everton) July 9, 2017
The forward is confirmed to be wearing the number 10 shirt next season with its previous wearer, Romelu Lukaku, going the other way for an initial fee of £75million, rising to £90 million with add-ons subject to medical.
Despite at times frustrating United fans by his threats of forcing through a transfer away, Rooney leaves a club legend for his goal-scoring accolades and trophies as well iconic memories such as his debut hat-trick against Fenerbahce and overhead goal against Manchester City.
The time is right for both club and player to start a new chapter.
All the best @WayneRooney and congratulations on a great United career . The best Striker I played with and saw at the club.
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) July 9, 2017
— Michael Carrick (@carras16) July 10, 2017
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) July 10, 2017
Thank you, Wayne, from all of us. pic.twitter.com/34NErAvscX
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 9, 2017
Image courtesy of Bwin via YouTube, with thanks.