Everton Legend Backs Returning Wayne Rooney to Help End Toffees' 22-Year Trophy Drought
Wayne Rooney has not come back to boyhood club Everton to "relax" but to help the Toffees end their 22-year wait for silverware.
That is the verdict of Blues legend Graeme Sharp, who told the Daily Express that the striker had returned to Goodison Park to aid Ronald Koeman's men secure a first trophy since their FA Cup triumph all the way back in 1995.
Rooney completed a sensational return to the club he left in 2004 after Manchester United allowed him to leave on a free transfer, and Sharp insisted that the 31-year-old will spearhead Everton's charge as they look to pick up a first title for over two decades.
He said: “I felt sorry for him at the tail end of his time at United because he wasn’t playing much. He is simply too good a player to be sitting on United’s bench.
“He will be the first to tell you that football moves on but Wayne is the sort of person and player who needs to play regularly and that is why he has come back.
“Now he has an ideal opportunity at his boyhood club to show his career isn’t finished. Of course, there was an emotional pull for him but there’s also some unfinished business – he wants to win a trophy with Everton.”
Rooney has featured in both of the Toffees' two competitive matches of the 2017/18 season so far - the two legged Europa League 3rd round qualifier against MFK Ruzomberok - and, despite not scoring in either game, did show some flashes of his quality against the Slovakian minnows.
Sharp went on to explain why the England international would, however, have to be at his best in training and on the pitch to keep his place in Koeman's starting lineup - or risk being benched if he did not perform at his best levels.
The Scot added: “It is not a case of Wayne coming back to Everton, kicking off his shoes, sitting back and relaxing. He knows it is a new challenge for him and he knows he needs to perform.
“He’s not guaranteed a place. He’s got to prove he is worth it, and that will be good for him as well.
“He is looking forward to proving a few people wrong as well. People are very quick to put down players and say, ‘That’s the end of their career.’
“You never lose your talent and he has talent in abundance. His intelligence on a football field is incredible as well. He’s tailored his game and he’s going to have a big season for us.”