Is Wayne Rooney's move to Derby County the right decision?
By Joe Harker
Derby County have signed England's all time top goalscorer Wayne Rooney from DC United, with the striker joining the club as a player and a coach.
While the chance to take his first steps into the world of coaching is enticing it is believed that one of the main reasons behind the move is primarily motivated by his family's desire to stay settled in England.
Rooney will join in January 2020, signing an 18 month contract. He will stay at DC United to see out the remainder of the MLS season.
England's top goalscorer Wayne Rooney, Manchester United's top goalscorer Wayne Rooney, the Premier League's second highest goalscorer of all time Wayne Rooney. That's the player Derby County are getting.
It would have been a ridiculous idea to consider not too long ago, but they've got one of the biggest names in football.
Beyond the name is an excellent goalscoring record and a consistent work effort on the pitch. Rooney runs a lot, likes to be involved with play and has spent years of his career as a captain for club and country.
The player himself said the move wasn't just about returning to England, that he wanted to be an important player for Derby as long as possible.
He said he will keep going until his body can't go anymore and told people he was feeling good ahead of his new challenge.
The Counter Claim:
However, The Guardian's Paul MacInnes questions whether Derby and Rooney are really the right match.
He points out that Rooney's legs appeared to go some time back, with former Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal considering him to be "over the hill" in 2014.
Rooney still has talent but he found it hard to keep up in his final Premier League seasons and the Championship has a reputation for being competitive. He might find it a much tougher task than the MLS.
MacInnes also points out that Rooney will be something of a scalp for the other players in the league. What Championship player wouldn't be motivated to get one over on a big name like Wayne Rooney?
Derby are spending a lot of money on a striker widely agreed to be past his best and have made a commitment by putting him on the coaching staff. It's quite a few eggs to put in one basket.
The finances behind this deal help explain why Derby have gone for Rooney.
Being a player and a coach, half of his wages won't be part of the club's Financial Fair Play calculations. Derby have struggled with FFP in recent years, having sold their stadium to a company owned by chairman Mel Morris to avoid straying outside the threshold.
Rooney will wear the 32 shirt to match with Derby's sponsor, the betting company 32 Red. They offered the club a new record breaking sponsorship deal because of the Rooney transfer.