Wayne Rooney is set to return to coaching with a deal to manage Plymouth Argyle. The Championship side was searching for a new head coach after firing Ian Foster in April.

The Pilgrims were nearly relegated down to League One earlier this month.

Nevertheless, a rare victory for the club on the final day of the campaign helped them avoid the drop. The win pushed Rooney’s former club, Birmingham City, into the third tier of English football next season.

The former Manchester United star has recent experience at Argyle’s Home Park, as he was in charge of Birmingham during a 3-3 draw in December. Rooney was eventually fired from his former team just 10 days later.

“Taking this role at Plymouth Argyle feels like the perfect next step in my career – and I would like to thank the Chairman and Board for the faith they have shown in me,” proclaimed Rooney.

“I have experienced first-hand how talented the existing group of players is here – and also the incredible atmosphere at Home Park. The club is on an exciting long-term journey, with a progressive plan in place. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of it. I can’t wait for the Championship season to start in August.”

Former United star has not found success as a coach just yet

Although Rooney was a legend on the pitch during his playing days, his coaching career has sputtered so far. After guiding Derby County to safety during the 2020/21 campaign, Rooney departed the club after suffering relegation the following season. Derby, however, was enduring a period of financial difficulties at the time and was even docked 21 points.

Rooney then moved on to America with Major League Soccer side D.C. United. The former star managed to win just 14 of 53 total matches in charge of the club. He was ultimately sacked in October of 2023, but quickly found a job with Birmingham.

Nevertheless, Rooney’s time with the Blues was hugely disappointing, as he only picked up two victories in 15 games. Overall, the coach has a collective win rate of just 26% as a manager.

Rooney has been confirmed as Plymouth manager
Rooney has been confirmed as Plymouth manager

Rooney has been confirmed as Plymouth manager

Argyle brass will likely give Rooney best chance to succeed

While Rooney has yet to really prove himself as a coach, he could very well be correct in saying that his new club is the “perfect next step” in his career.

Despite their most recent place in the table, Argyle has an owner that is willing to invest in his squad. In fact, Simon Hallett broke the team’s previous transfer record twice during the 2023/24 season.

Morgan Whittaker and Bali Mumba both cost the club over $1 million in transfer fees last July. Although these purchases do not necessarily compare to many Premier League deals, they were hugely significant to a side like Argyle. The two players eventually excelled during the most recent season and have boosted their personal value.

According to Transfermarkt, Argyle’s total squad value currently ranks 20th in the Championship. However, partially aided by the aforementioned duo, the team’s overall value is up 30% in the last month alone. This is currently the biggest jump in the entire second-tiered division. Rooney will now get an entire summer to prepare with his new team before starting the 2024/25 campaign.

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