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Everton legend claims Rooney is Kenwright’s signing, not Koeman’s

Date Posted,July 8, 2017

Everton legend Kevin ­Ratcliffe believes that Wayne Rooney’s Goodison Park return is more of a Bill Kenwright production than one of manager Ronald Koeman’s making.

Former Wales ace Ratcliffe, who as skipper led the Toffees to their unprecedented success in the 1980s, admits to being perplexed over 31-year-old Rooney’s second coming.

He maintains it’s a similar headline-grabbing move that brought Paul Gascoigne to the blue half of Merseyside at the age of 33.

Ratcliffe is excited by Everton’s summer spending which is nearing the £100million mark with players like Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen.

But he says: “I’m a little unsure where Wayne Rooney fits into all this. I wonder where he will break into the team? He is still a very good player but where does he get in?

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“Ronald Koeman likes a pressing game. I don’t know whether Wayne can do that now. He will always do his best even if you stuck him in goal.

“He still has great awareness and is a good passer of the ball but the pace of the game that Everton play could pass him by.

“I know that Everton brought Gazza in during his twilight years and he didn’t do badly, but I think they brought him in at the time as a crowd pleaser. They knew they weren’t going anywhere but they needed to excite people and get people in through the turnstiles.

“That’s not the case now. Also you wonder whether this is being driven more by the club than the manager.”

Ronald Koeman and Jan Kluitenberg of Everton (Image: Everton FC)

Ratcliffe insists the increased focus on Everton means there will be no hiding place for the ambitious Koeman.

“There was talk of Barcelona being interested in him. For Koeman to eventually go there he will have to win things at Everton,” he added.

“The big thing with Koeman, he gives me the impression – and some Evertonians won’t want to hear this – that he doesn’t regard Everton as the biggest club he will ever manage.

“Some of the managers we have had have thought Everton was as big as it gets. With Koeman he’s delighted to be at Goodison but he doesn’t want it to be his biggest job.

“He’s hugely ambitious. To be successful you’ve got to have better players. That’s why his standards are high.”

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