After an incredible 13-year run with Manchester United, Wayne Rooney is on the move, returning to his boyhood club, Everton, where he first made a name for himself at the Premier League level.
"It is some time since I said that the only Premier League club I would play for other than Manchester United was Everton, so I am delighted that the move has happened," Rooney said in a statement about the two-year deal.
"Thirteen years ago I went to United with the intention of winning trophies and I have been fortunate to be a part of one of the most successful periods in the club's history."
In 2004, Rooney, then 18 years old, was transferred from Everton to United after a two-year run as one of the brightest young talents in English soccer. He went on to have one of the most illustrious careers in Manchester -- and Premier League -- history. With 253 goals in 559 appearances for the club, he's United's all-time leading goal-scorer, surpassing the legendary Bobby Charlton's mark of 250. His 198 Premier League goals, 183 of which he scored for United, is second-most in league history.
While at Old Trafford, Rooney led United to five Premier League titles, an FA Cup, three League Cups, a Europa title and, of course, the 2008 UEFA Champions League title.
But the player you see above scoring stunner after stunner is not the player who will be returning to the Merseyside. After being a lock in United's first 11 for more than a decade, the former captain's role began to diminish a few seasons ago. He scored in the double-digits in the Premier League each of his first 11 seasons with the Red Devils, but finished with just eight in 2015-16, then a paltry five this past season, when he only started 15 matches.
He'll have his work cut out for him at Everton. He's slated to replace Romelu Lukaku -- who's moving the other way, to Manchester United on an enormous fee -- in the Toffee's attacking force. Lukaku scored 18 and 25 goals in each of the past two seasons, so it's unlikely that Rooney can make up that deficit by himself.
There is no doubt that the 31 year-old's best days are behind him. But with new scenery, fewer superstars to battle for playing time and a fan base that is excited to see him on the pitch -- something he didn't have in the past few seasons at Old Trafford -- Rooney could experience a small revival at Everton. If nothing else, it will be a brilliant moment of a career coming full circle when he emerges from the tunnel at Goodison Park in a blue shirt next season.
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Cy Brown writes about soccer and other stuff for Sports on Earth. Follow him on Twitter @CEPBrown.