Everton full-back Leighton Baines has backed Wayne Rooney to end the club’s 22-year-wait for silverware. The Toffees have been busy in the transfer market this summer with seven players signed for a combined fee of just over £90m.
While the likes of Michael Keane and Davy Klaassen are valuable additions to the squad, the arrival of Wayne Rooney from Manchester United has been the highlight of the Toffees’ transfer window. The England international returned to his boyhood club after 13-year glorious years at Old Trafford, and Baines believes Rooney can bridge their gap to their rivals in order to attain trophy success.
It’s one of the reasons that Everton have been included in one of the football accumulator bets from William Hill, with many pundits tipping them for League or FA Cup glory.
“A trophy is the ultimate goal and I think that is what the manager has come here to do – to push us on to another level, and get us there. Obviously with the new owner and with the chairman, that is the objective, to take that next step. Everyone understands it will be tough. We have already got a bit of a gap to bridge and we are working on it and we hope to do it. I’m fully aware of what Wayne can bring to us and I think he has already shown it in the few weeks he has been here,” he told The Guardian.
Rooney was the undisputed club-captain during his time at Manchester United, but he struggled to make himself under Jose Mourinho, who preferred the experienced Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford for the lone role upfront.
The 31-year-old was also utilised as a support striker during the initial phase of last season, but there was not much success which led to Jose Mourinho pushing Paul Pogba into an attacking midfield role. Rooney did have the option to honour the final years of his United contract, but he decided to accept a golden handshake to make a return to Merseyside. The veteran may have lost some of his skill attributes over the past year, but manager Ronald Koeman is confident that the marksman will make a mark for Everton, and eventually retain his place with England.