In one of the summer transfer window’s more surprising moves, former England captain Wayne Rooney is to join Championship side Derby as a player-coach.

BBC Sport looks at how the world of football, and beyond, reacted to and England’s record scorer moving to the second tier side.

‘You need picking up in the morning?’

Former Red Devils and England team-mate Rio Ferdinand copied Rooney’s celebrated “Hi rio do u want picking up in the morning pal” tweet from 2011 to welcome the 33-year-old back to English football from DC United.

It’s thought that Rooney meant to send the tweet, which has now been retweeted 51,500 times, as either a direct message or possibly even a text.

Rooney is not the only person to find that tweeting isn’t easy. Just ask Ed Balls.

Meanwhile, soon-to-be Rams team-mate Curtis Davies wondered whether he might be able to pick up the year Rooney had left on his deal with the MLS side.

It is reported he was earning around £2.2m a year with the side from the US capital.

‘Mostly terrific’

Grant Wahl, who covers MLS for American magazine Sport Illustrated, said Rooney’s spell with DC United had been “mostly terrific” and compared his impact with that of former United team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is at LA Galaxy.

Wahl’s opinion is backed up by Rooney’s stats…

Since his debut in July 2018, only two players have been involved in more MLS goals than the ex- man.

‘A genius football man’

Rooney was every bit as prolific during his first spell this side of the Atlantic, with his dazzling performances as a teenager earning him an England call-up aged just 17.

The man who gave him his first opportunity in international football was Sven Goran Eriksson.

“I’m surprised [by the move], of course, but well done Derby!” Eriksson told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I think Rooney will be a very good coach and manager in the future. Rooney’s a football man, a genius football man.

“He’s very, very clever when you talk about football, tactics, organisation, how to play and how to train. He was always extremely professional in training, the first on the pitch and the last to leave.

“Rooney had so many good managers and coaches in his life, so I think he will have picked up things here and there.”

‘Is this real?’

While Eriksson handed Rooney his very first England cap, the 33-year-old has Derby chairman Mel Morris to thank for giving him his first crack at coaching.

The move has surprised many supporters and pundits – and, it seems, everyone at Derby too.

Morris told BBC Radio 5 Live: “When Wayne walked in it was a mixture of disbelief and people pinching themselves, thinking ‘is this real?’

“They were all buzzing – I mean literally just incredible.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here