Wayne Rooney, at 18 one of the very best forwards in the world, has left my beloved Everton to play his soccer for Manchester United. Everton received about $30 million which could rise to about $40 million depending on various contingencies. This is nowhere near Rooney’s value, in my opinion.
The deal was completed just four hours before the transfer deadline, but became more or less inevitable on Friday, when Rooney requested the transfer. Most Everton fans are enraged at the “lad,” as they made clear during Saturday’s match. In my opinion, though, the player didn’t let the club down; rather Everton let Rooney down. It did so by degenerating into a second-rate, debt-ridden, conflict-riven outfit. Sure, Rooney supported Everton as a kid and Everton did a great job of developing his talent. But remember that top European clubs like Manchester United get to compete in the Champions League against other great clubs like Bayern Munich, AC Milan, and Real Madrid. Everton fans have no right to expect a world class player like Rooney to forgo the opportunity to appear on that special stage.
It would be different if Everton had any reasonable hope of making the Champions League in the next year or two. But the reality is that next year and the year after, we are far more likely to be playing in a lower English division than in the Champions League.
So long Wayne. All the best.
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