By 90Min
December 14, 2017

It is almost as though Wayne Rooney has been born again since securing a return to boyhood club Everton in the summer, revitalising a career with a much needed fresh challenge.

Rooney became Manchester United's all-time top goalscorer in January, fully cementing his place in the Old Trafford history books he surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's 44-year-old record. But it was a tally he crawled to, while his fitness and form appeared to have long deserted him.

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Despite a blip in which Everton as a whole were badly underperforming, his homecoming following a free transfer in the summer has been a huge success.

He scored a screamer in his very first game back with the Toffees in pre-season, a friendly in Tanzania, and wasted little time in getting off the mark in the Premier League after netting on his second league debut for Everton on the opening weekend of the season.

With his new lease of life, the 32-year-old is generally performing better and is having a huge impact on results. The numbers are there to back it up.

After further goals against Manchester City, Brighton, Arsenal, West Ham, Liverpool and Newcastle, Rooney now has nine for the season in the Premier League - the same number as Romelu Lukaku at his former club - and already more than he managed in all competitions in the whole of 2016/17.

When Rooney scores, Everton have almost always picked up points - the Arsenal game, a 5-2 loss, is the only one of those that the Toffees have lost. He has scored in three of his last four Premier League games, bagging an assist in the other, and Everton have shot up the table.

Where he looked a shadow of his former self last season, to the point where even his touch and technique were surprisingly poor, Opta stats can reveal that Rooney actually more efficient in front of goal now than he has ever been, even at his Old Trafford peak.

He has converted an impressive 7 of his 21 attempts on goal from open play so far in 2017/18, a success rate of 33% or 1 in every 3. Not only is that so far removed from 6.1% conversion rate last season, but it the best of any Premier League season in his career.

Wayne Rooney is by no means a has-been.

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