Wayne Rooney's return to Everton was supposed to be a fairy tale, and while it started that way, it's clear that the club could be better off by letting rising talents soak up the minutes while the England legend makes way.
With the Premier League season coming to an end, speculation has already started over Wayne Rooney's future at his boyhood club. The 32-year-old is now reportedly set to join MLS side DC United at the end of the the 2017/18 Premier League season.
There comes a time when every aging footballer has to decide what the next step in their career will be, and it seems like Wayne Rooney is now at that cross roads. After 13 years away, Rooney might already be saying farewell to Goodison Park following just one season back wearing the blue shirt.
It was a fairy tale start for Rooney, scoring the winner on the opening day of the season in front of the home fans. But even while he is the club's top goal scorer with 11 this season, his recent form and attitude have explicitly deteriorated.
His reaction to being substituted against Liverpool recently exemplified the player's recent frustrations.
The ex-England captain is not the sort of footballer that wants to be a bit-part player, which is the main reason he left Manchester United in the first place. With rumours of a deal now being agreed to play for Washington based DC United, it makes one wonder just how much time he has left at Everton.
Having retired from International football, and with him turning 33 this year, a move Stateside could be a good move for all those concerned. Rooney gets to continue playing 90 minutes every week, and concentrate on his football.
Not only that, he would probably enjoy a calmer family life, having been in the media's spotlight for the last 17 years. A move over the pond doesn't seem to have too many negatives for Rooney, and to be honest there's not a great deal for Everton either.
For Everton, it seems like the right time for players like Rooney to make way for younger blood.
The fans want change, and even if they don't want to admit it, one of those changes has to be Rooney. Everton must look to the future, and unfortunately, Rooney isn't that. If he does leave Everton will reap the benefits of this, as did England, once Rooney decided to hang up his international boots.
The gap left by Rooney would free up a position in the heart of the team for young emerging talent like Tom Davies.
Davies has impressed and seems more than capable in becoming a star at Everton. However, with Rooney floating around from position to position this season, the youngster's game time has been effected.
Without doubt the younger players in the squad would have learnt a great deal from Rooney, but it's now time for them to put it into practice, and become leaders on the pitch themselves.
Everton need to learn from clubs like Tottenham, and give young talents a chance to shine. If Everton part company with Rooney that should be the start of a natural progression for the club into trusting their young talents.
With Rooney's departure, the club could look at using their healthier wage bill in securing the future of these younger players and reward them as they continue to improve.
All in all, a move to the MLS would be a good for both Rooney and Everton Football Club.
If - and seemingly when - this happens, the young talent emerging from the club will have the opportunity to shine in his absence. While Rooney gets to continue to play regularly, and Everton begin to build for the future.
It will be sad to see one of the greatest ever Premier League players leave for America, but the time does seem right for all concerned.