Wayne Rooney can still be a valuable player and returning to Everton would be a ‘good move’ for the Manchester United captain, according to Kevin Kilbane.
United’s record goalscorer has been heavily linked with a switch away from Old Trafford this summer after being reduced to a bit-part role last season and a move back to his boyhood club has been mooted.
There have also been reports of interest from Major League Soccer and China, but Kilbane feels the 31-year-old would still have something to offer in the Premier League.
“That’s been going around now for quite a while,” Kilbane, who played with Rooney at Everton, told Goal when asked about the rumours of his former team-mate returning to his first club.
“Wayne Rooney will probably will leave United, yes. To go to Everton might be a good move for him because the way he left Everton didn’t quite work well for him from a personal point of view. Growing up he was a huge Everton fan.
“I think it will be a good move but his agent said that he has got offers from around the world. So it might not necessarily be to stay in the Premier League.
“It looks to me that he will be leaving Old Trafford. He might come to Asia, China, one of the European clubs or stay in the Premier League and go to Everton.
“Wherever he goes, I think he will be a valued member of that side because I still think he has the ability and can produce what he has shown in the past.”
Kilbane believes that, if Rooney does return to Everton 13 years after he left, he is unlikely to be used as an out-and-out striker by manager Ronaldo Koeman.
When asked if Rooney can still play as a striker, Kilbane said: “As a striker now, probably no because as a number nine you need to be running off the defenders and he probably doesn’t have the pace that he had before.
“Pace is something what a number nine certainly requires. He can still score goals and I think he could play as a number 10 and as a midfield player. He has the ability to do that.”
Kilbane was talking to Goal courtesy of Sports Cluster of Sony pictures network.