Wayne Rooney to Derby County: England and Manchester United legend to join Sky Bet Championship club in 2020

Wayne Rooney: Former England captain is to leave DC United after just two seasons
Wayne Rooney: Former England captain is to leave DC United after just two seasons

Wayne Rooney will join Derby as a player-coach from January, the Championship side have announced.

The 33-year-old former England international has signed an 18-month contract and will switch to the Pride Park side after he sees out the remainder of the 2019 Major League Soccer season with DC United.

Derby boss Phillip Cocu told the club's official website: "Wayne Rooney is an extremely talented and top-class footballer.

"It is an exciting prospect for him to be joining Derby County and he can bring so much to this squad, both on and off the pitch.

"He has enjoyed a wonderful career, both in club football and for England, and he still has so much to give as well."

Rooney is excited by his new dual role, but remains focused on DC United's play-off push before his return to England.

"I am very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with," Rooney said.

"I am looking forward to joining Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff and the first-team squad from the start of January. I am sure I can make a big contribution and can't wait to meet everyone, especially the supporters.

Tom Lawrence celebrates his second goal for Derby against Huddersfield
Derby made a winning start to the Sky Bet Championship season on Monday, beating Huddersfield 2-1

"I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County working with both the first team and academy.

"I must also take this opportunity to thank DC United, their owners, executives and supporters who have been superb to work with. I want them to know that I will give my all in support of our push for the play-offs."

Derby boss Cocu added: "His credentials speak for themselves. But to have a player with his leadership, skill, experience, character and work ethic will be huge for us. He knows what it takes to succeed as a player and I have no doubt he will have a positive impact right across the club.

"The inspiration and motivation this can generate is massive for all of our players, from the first team right through to the youngsters in the academy. It is entirely in keeping with, and in support of, the club's philosophy and approach.

"I am looking forward to working with Wayne from the start of next year and welcoming him to the club."


Golden Generation in the dugout

Here is a look at how Rooney's former international team-mates have performed on the sidelines so far.

Gary Neville

Better known as a television pundit since retiring as a player, Neville was already an assistant with England when he was surprisingly appointed Valencia manager in December 2015. He was sacked in March 2016 after 28 games which yielded 10 wins, seven draws and 11 defeats, including a 7-0 thrashing by Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.

John Terry

John Terry is Aston Villa's assistant manager
John Terry is Aston Villa's assistant manager

Terry finished playing for Aston Villa after the club's defeat in the Championship play-off final in May 2018 and announced his retirement as a player in October. Just days later he was appointed as assistant to new Villa boss Dean Smith and the club gained promotion to the Premier League by beating Derby 1-0 in the play-off final in 2019.

David Beckham

Beckham has not gone directly into coaching but bought an MLS franchise in 2014 and Inter Miami are finally scheduled to begin competing in 2020 after delays over their stadium. Beckham is also a director of Salford City after joining former 'Class of 92' Manchester United team-mates Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Phil Neville in taking a 10 per cent share in the club.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard: The Rangers boss took charge of his first Old Firm derby
Steven Gerrard: The Rangers boss in charge of his first Old Firm derby

Former Liverpool captain Gerrard coached a number of the club's youth teams after hanging up his boots before signing a four-year deal to manage Scottish Premiership side Rangers. Gerrard's reign began with a 12-match unbeaten run in all competitions but fierce rivals Celtic won a third consecutive domestic treble as Rangers finished second in the league.

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard: Chelsea manager pictured in pre-season
Frank Lampard: Chelsea manager pictured in pre-season

Lampard was appointed Derby manager in May 2018 and saw his side knock Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford in his 12th game in charge. The Rams went on to finish sixth in the Championship and, after beating Leeds in the play-off semi-finals, lost to Aston Villa in the final at Wembley. Lampard signed a three-year contract as head coach of former club Chelsea in July.

Paul Scholes

Due to his stake in Salford City, Scholes needed permission from the English Football League to be appointed manager of League Two side Oldham in February 2019, signing an 18-month contract. However, he resigned after just 31 days in charge and one win from seven matches.


Rooney: Ups and downs

Rooney's wonder strike against Manchester City
Rooney's wonder strike against Manchester City

Here is a look at the highs and lows of the 33-year-old's career.

HIGH - Scores for Everton against Arsenal in October 2002 at the age of 16 years and 360 days, making him the youngest Premier League goalscorer at the time.

HIGH - Becomes the youngest player to play for England in February 2003 at 17 years and 111 days in a friendly defeat against Australia.

HIGH - Becomes the most expensive British teenager by joining Manchester United in 2004 in a deal that eventually rises to £27million.

LOW - Sent off in a Champions League draw at Villarreal in September 2005 after sarcastically clapping in the referee's face.

LOW - Sent off in the World Cup 2006 quarter-final defeat to Portugal for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho. England went on to lose on penalties.

HIGH - Ends the 2007-08 campaign as both a Premier League and Champions League winner as United defeat Chelsea in Moscow.

HIGH - Signs five-year extension with United, just two days after saying he would not and wanted to leave in October 2010.

HIGH - Scores arguably his best United goal in February 2011, an overhead kick in the Manchester derby to give United a 2-1 victory.

LOW - Sent off in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro for a foul on Miodrag Dzudovic and banned for the first three games of the finals in Poland and Ukraine, subsequently reduced to two on appeal.

HIGH - Wins his 100th England cap in November 2014 and scores a penalty as England defeat Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier.

HIGH - In September 2015, breaks Sir Bobby Charlton's England scoring record with his 50th goal in a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Switzerland.

HIGH - Earns his 116th cap in September 2016 to make him England's most-capped outfield player.

HIGH - Surpasses Sir Bobby Charlton as United's all-time record scorer by coming off the bench to net against Stoke in January 2017.

LOW - Receives two-year driving ban and ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid work in September 2017 after pleading guilty to a drink-driving charge.

LOW - In December 2018 is arrested for public intoxication at Washington's Dulles airport after arriving on a flight from Saudi Arabia. Says he was left "disorientated" by taking prescribed sleeping tablets while drinking.

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