Wayne Rooney made his debut for Derby last night and helped his new side to a 2-1 win, assisting one of the goals.
The all-time England and Man United top scorer left DC United last season and signed a contract with Derby starting from January 2020. He moved there as a player-coach so he can go into management after retirement.
The last time Rooney played a full game was in October. Many were wondering if he would start or make an appearance off the bench due to lack of match fitness.
Many Rams fans were excited by the arrival of Rooney and much to their enjoyment he was named in the starting 11. On top of that, he was given the captains armband which surprised many.
Every time he touched the ball it got a big cheer from the crowd. He was playing in a deeper role than we saw in the MLS as he started in centre midfield.
Derby got off to a good start but couldn’t convert some fantastic chances, Jack Marriott missing the best of them. However, their tenacity paid off and Marriott got his goal on the 45th minute. A free-kick from Rooney found the striker who volleyed home from six yards outs.
Barnsley though equalised shortly after the break after a goalkeeping error for Derby. But the visitors were going to ruin Rooney’s special night. Derbys other striker Waghorn scored in the 57th minute to give the Rams a 2-1 win.
Rooney had a good first game and even managed 90 minutes. Derby fans will be excited to see what else Rooney can bring to the team in his time at the club.
Rooney looking for promotion
After the match, Rooney said he was looking to help Derby secure promotion. Last season they got to the play-off finals but were beaten by Aston Villa. Since then the squad has been much changed with Lampard, Wilson and Mount all leaving. The two midfielders combined with nearly 30 goals last season and Derby have struggled to replace them.
The win last night saw them go into 17th place. This is a long way off the promotion places, but a closer look at the table says otherwise. They are eight points off and in the Championship that is not a lot. As a lot of teams are close together, one win can have a massive change in the table.
Betway though aren’t given Derby much of a chance to go up. They are 100/1 to get promotion with Leeds the favourites at 1/14. Derbys main aim though will be to stay up currently. They are ten points off the drop zone and are 10/1 to get relegated.
Whatever happens for them, it’s going to be an exciting season now they have one of the Premier Leagues greatest ever players playing for them.