Everton should rid themselves of sentiment and decide against signing former boy wonder Wayne Rooney!

Mourinho can’t guarantee Wayne Rooney will stay at Manchester United

Sports Bar Hongkong update: Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney’s potential return to former club Everton is edging ever closer. The 31-year-old Evertonian has lost his starting spot under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford this season and has been heavily linked with a move away from the Theatre of Dreams.

China and the US are rumoured to be possible destinations, but a quick trip up the M62 to Merseyside is much more likely, according to The Independent, with United prepared to waive any transfer fee in order to get the England captain’s astronomical wages off their books.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman said openly that Rooney would make his side “stronger” a few weeks ago,while director of football Steve Walsh made no secret of his desire to recruit the former Champions Leaguewinner, saying he would “drive over myself and get him” if necessary.

A Rooney return would be seen as a marquee signing for Everton from some quarters. Understandably so, given his illustrious career and status within world football. But can the signing of a player who doesn’t actually improve the Toffees’ starting line-up be considered as a real statement of intent from the bigwigs at Goodison Park?

Rooney’s talent is unquestionable, but Father Time catches up with everyone. His physical powers have declined substantially over the past few seasons – 746 matches in 14-and-a-half years would take its toll on any player – and he does not seem capable of carrying out the demands he would be tasked with in Koeman’s system, which requires attackers, midfielders and wing-backs to press, harry and cover an awful lot of ground.

It’s true that Rooney would raise Everton’s global profile. His name is recognised the world over and his return would drag Everton into the spotlight immediately, but the only way he would keep his boyhood club splashed across the back pages is by performing well on the pitch, something he has simply failed to do consistently for the past three years.

His performances levels, along with his goal return, chance creation etc. are on the way down, and a move to the club he burst on to the scene with as a ferocious 16-year-old would not drastically change that. His vest may have read “Once a blue always a blue”, but if Everton wish to progress and challenge for silverware, they have to take sentiment out of their thinking completely.

Koeman and Walsh are not stupid. They have lifted Everton out of the mire they were left in by Roberto Martinez and in less than a season their stewardship already has Evertonians dreaming of the Champions League and beyond.

If they see Rooney as a worthwhile signing and one that will help Everton progress, fans who think different simply have to bow to their superior judgement. Koeman is known to be a ruthless operator and will not be caught up in the romantic storyline of “the boy done good” coming back home, but the potential return of Rooney is a move which from the outside looking in looks fuelled by nostalgia and indulgence, rather than intent and purpose.

Visit Trafalgar Sports Bar Hongkong to catch Everton match.

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  • EVERTON VS CHELSEA live on Sunday April 30 at 9 pm

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