Just six weeks after Wayne Rooney seemed out of Everton’s first team, he has become the driving force behind their revival. Adrian Clarke looks at his transformation.
How quickly the fortunes of a footballer can change.
Rooney was struggling after his return to his boyhood club, but since the arrival of Sam Allardyce as manager the 32-year-old has thrived.
He has scored five goals in four matches, taking his season’s total to nine in 2017/18, putting him alongside Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata as joint-fourth in the division’s goalscoring chart.
Since returning to Merseyside in the summer Rooney has shown ice-cold finishing.
Scoring nine goals from just 12 shots on target, and 21 efforts overall, not including blocked shots, Rooney boasts an incredible 43% conversion rate.
When you compare that return with the PL’s other leading marksmen it stacks up quite brilliantly.
When you factor in “blocked shots”, Rooney boasts a 37.5% conversion success and, ahead of the weekend’s matches, that makes him European football’s most deadly finisher.
Monaco’s Radamel Falcao and Real Betis’s Antonio Sanabria are closest in this department with 33.3%.
The nearest Premier League rival in this metric is Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling with 25%.
Rooney has enjoyed some standout campaigns in his prestigious career but has never come close to being this clinical.