Wayne Rooney could be in line for a warm reception from the Everton support when he returns to Goodison Park this weekend.
That is according to Toffees legend Duncan Ferguson, who spoke to The Liverpool Echo in optimistic terms ahead of his testimonial match on Sunday.
Rooney left Goodison Park in acrimonious circumstances, having seemingly pushed through a big money move to Manchester United.
Over a decade on from the switch, however, and Rooney may be hoping that some of the furore and animosity surrounding his Goodison Park exit will have died down.
One man who appears to concur is Ferguson, with Rooney set to feature in the Scot’s big day on Sunday.
Rooney was one of the first to sign up for the star-studded encounter and Ferguson is evidently hoping the fans in attendance will acknowledge this.
Speaking to The Liverpool Echo, he said: “I hope he gets a good reception. It was a long time ago and, as far as I’m concerned, he is one of us and I’m sure he’ll get a good reception.
“The Everton fans have their own feelings and so I’m not going to tell them how to react but I’m sure they’ll react in a passionate way.”
Ferguson was keen to stress that he still has a good relationship with Rooney, having played together during the England star’s early days at Everton.
But with moves of this ilk often prompting a negative reaction from the fans, Rooney could yet be in for a hostile reception, even 10 years or more on from the original incident.