When Wayne Rooney left Everton to join MLS side D.C. United in the summer of 2018, the assumption in his homeland was that he would likely never return to English football. However, after just a year and a half – and some memorable goals – in the American capital, Derby County snapped up the chance to bring the Manchester United legend back to England. At 34 years of age, he has proved more than capable of playing in the second tier – but he is also offering extra value by combining his playing duties with a part-time coaching role.
“Wayne provides quality, a class player, he has character and can also provide a link between the technical staff and the players,” said Derby manager Phillip Cocu. “When we discuss options on the pitch before the game, I only have to wave and call his name and he gives something extra to us. The more he works with us, the more his influence grows.”