The door is open for Wayne Rooney to return to Everton and fans think it could be a stroke of genius

Wayne Rooney’s storied career started explosively at Everton at the age of 16 and now at 31 it seems his boyhood club want him back.

Well, Everton manager Ronald Koeman would welcome a Rooney return anyway.

It’s a move that’s been mooted a lot recently, with the Manchester United record goalscorer unable to nail down a first-team place, and the Dutchman believes Rooney could do a job for the Toffees.

Everton's Wayne Rooney (l) takes on Liverpool Djimi Traore
(Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport)

“I believe that Wayne Rooney is still playing at a high level,” Koeman told Sky Sports. “I think he made a good choice to stay at Manchester United and in the Premier League because he has still two or three years in front of him to play on a high level.

“What will happen at the end of the season? I don’t know but in my opinion he is one of the players who can make Everton more stronger. It’s all about what the player likes, what Manchester United needs to do, and we are not involved in that project. But every player that we at Everton think can make the team stronger is welcome to Everton.”

Admit it, the romantic in you loves the idea of England’s greatest-ever goalscorer returning to his boyhood club – a club that’s currently in a good place, it has to be said.

And plenty of people knowledgeable on the subject believe it could happen.

But is it just nostalgia? Sentimentality? Would Rooney actually improve the Everton squad?

Steve Walsh, the former Leicester scout who’s now Everton’s director of football, definitely feels there would be merit in the signing.

As do fans.

Rooney made his debut for Everton on the opening day of the 2002/03 season after rising through the academy with a prolific scoring record – but it was a last-minute winner against Arsenal in October of the same year that really got people talking.

Make no mistake, the Rooney that left Everton is a very different Rooney to the man we see today. But having competed at the top level for so long, and won so many trophies along the way, people can see what he’d bring to their squad.

It might not be goals, but it could be something just as important.

Koeman has made a point of bringing through young players at all the clubs he’s managed, with Tom Davies the latest to be given a chance by the former Barcelona defender.

A Rooney around the place to help with the likes of him and Ademola Lookman could be worth any potential fee in itself – provided there was one.

There was one slightly less pleasing thought for Everton fans: a Romelu Lukaku reunion with Jose Mourinho, anyone? It didn’t end so well last time.

All in all though, if the move does go through, it would be an incredible story.