Date published: Monday 17th January 2022 9:35 – Will Ford
Rio Ferdinand claims former Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney would take the Everton job “in a heartbeat” if he was offered it, even though he would prefer to make the move in the summer.
Rooney is among the favourites to replace Rafael Benitez at Goodison Park after the Spaniard was sacked on Sunday.
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The former Everton striker has earned plaudits for the job he’s doing at Derby County, taking the Rams off the foot of the table despite a 21-point deduction.
And while Ferdinand believes Rooney would like to stay at Derby to keep them in the Championship, he can’t see that happening.
“You take the job in a heartbeat (if you’re Rooney),” Ferdinand said on Vibe with FIVE. “If he could have it his way, I’m sure he’d say, ‘listen, keep Big Dunc as the interim, let me keep Derby up and I’ll be there in the summer’ but that’s hugely unlikely.”
Roberto Martinez is also among the reported candidates to take over at Everton, but Ferdinand does not see the Belgium manager giving up the chance of managing at the World Cup to return to the Toffees.
“Martinez has got to relinquish going to the World Cup (with Belgium),” Ferdinand continued. “You can see Rooney – boyhood club and Big Dunc is his mate, his idol growing up, knows the fabric of the club.”
Ferdinand has been really impressed with Rooney, especially after taking a closer look by visiting Derby’s training ground.
“I saw a different Wayne Rooney to the one I grew up with and saw grow up at Man United, it was a real positive experience. It was the confidence and I didn’t expect it from such a young coach,” said Rio.
“I thought there’d be a lot of, ‘ermmmm’ – you see the interviews, no disrespect – but he was just calm man, I was so impressed. The results he is getting off the back of it, I’m not surprised.
“Wazza is good at detail, his game was about detail. People would think it was hustle and bustle and bang, a shot out of nowhere but to be the player he was you had to understand details and it is about translating that into the team.
“He was taking people off to the side saying ‘I want this, I want that’ and it was really good. I’m not saying he is the next Sir Alex or the next Pep but he is on the right track.”