Perhaps it was inevitable. When a Manchester United player is devoid of opportunities, you can best be assured that a club 34 miles west will show more than a passing interest.
The Dutchman becomes the tenth player in the Premier League era to make the move from Old Trafford to Goodison Park, as he looks to rejuvenate his career. So, it begs the question, how have the others fared? Sportsmail takes a look at the other nine players to swap red for blue.
Donny van de Beek completed his loan move to Everton from Manchester United on Monday
The Dutchman becomes the tenth player in the Premier League era to make the move from Old Trafford to Goodison Park – so, how have the others fared?
JOHN O’KANE, JANUARY 1998, £1M
Likely the least famous name on this list, right back John O’Kane was part of the famous Class of 92′ group at Old Trafford, where he stayed until early-1998.
Sir Alex Ferguson offered him a new contract at the age of 23, but stuck behind Gary Neville in the pecking order, he opted to move to work under Howard Kendall at Goodison.
John O’Kane was part of the famous Class of 92′ group at Old Trafford but moved to Everton in January 1998
As detailed in his book las year, Bursting the Bubble: Football, Autism & Me, O’Kane struggled with his mental health, describing himself as ‘on the spectrum’, via a recent diagnosis.
O’Kane played a role in keeping Everton in the Premier League on the final day of the 1997-98 season, but once Walter Smith came in, he again found himself on the periphery – making just 14 league appearances for the Toffees.
Failed moves to Bolton and Blackpool followed, before he won the double double at non-league Hyde United.
Now though, he works as a care worker helping vulnerable children, noting how he enjoys it more than his life as a pro footballer.
He told Sky Sports last year: ‘Even now, people say to me, “Why are you doing this?” Well, why shouldn’t I do this? It seems to give me more satisfaction.’
O’Kane (pic top-row, centre-right, with Class of 92 in 2014) is now a care worker helping vulnerable children
JESPER BLOMQVIST, NOVEMBER 2001, FREE
A treble winner in 1999, Jesper Blomqvist suffered a serious knee injury which meant the Swede did not play any football in the following two seasons.
He was on a week-to-week deal before Ferguson asked Smith to take a punt on the winger, as he moved on a free in November 2001.
Yet injuries persisted and his stay at Goodison lasted less than a year, with new manager David Moyes happy to let him leave in the summer of 2022.
Ironically, he scored his only United goal in the 98-99 Premier League winning season away at Everton.
Jesper Blomqvist’s stay at Goodison Park lasted less than a year after a free transfer from Utd
PHIL NEVILLE, AUGUST 2005, £3.5M
Another Class of 92′ talent, Neville had won the lot during his time at Manchster United before – due to a lack of regular starting spots – he ventured for pastures new and moved to Everton in 2005.
Moyes was signing a player who had 386 appearances for United behind him, and the younger brother of Gary was soon a fan favourite on Merseyside.
He became captain in January 2007 – two months earlier skippering the Toffees against United with Gary having the armband on – and stayed at Goodison until his retirement in 2013.
He made 303 appearances for Everton, scoring five goals, and captaining the club to the 2009 FA Cup final.
Phil Neville (right) captained Everton against brother Gary and Manchester United in 2006
TIM HOWARD, FEBRUARY 2007, £3M
Tim Howard was United’s No 1 keeper when he moved in 2003 from MLS side MetroStars, but after a series of errors during his time in-between the sticks, he moved on loan for the 2006-07 season.
After impressing, he signed a permanent deal in February 2007 for £3m, and went on to make 414 appearances during 10 years at Goodison Park.
Before he left in March 2016 for Colorado Rapids, Howard said he will ‘remain an Evertonian for life. This will always be my team, my club.’
Goalkeeper Tim Howard signed a permanent deal at Everton in February 2007 for £3m
LOUIS SAHA, SEPTEMBER 2008, UNDISCLOSED
Saha spent four-and-a-half years at Manchester United, winning two Premier League titles, the League Cup and the Champions League before injuries and competition for places meant Ferguson was happy to let him go in September 2008.
Despite signing a two-year pay-as-you-play deal originally, the French striker enjoyed a successful three-and-a-half years on Merseyside, scoring a famous goal in the 2009 FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea – the quickest goal in FA Cup final history.
He scored 35 goals in 115 appearances under Moyes, before he joined Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham in January 2012, later representing Sunderland and Lazio.
Louis Saha enjoyed success at both Man Utd and Everton (pic right, scoring in 2009 FA Cup final)
DARRON GIBSON, JANUARY 2012, UNDISCLOSED
The Irish midfielder, who came through the youth system at Man United and won a Premier League title in 2011, left the Red Devils for Everton in January 2012 after struggling with injuries.
Yet his move to Merseyside did not represent a change of luck regarding his fitness – he made just 44 league appearances over five years at the club.
Now aged 34, he is currently without a club having left Salford City last summer.
Irish midfielder Darron Gibson made just 44 league appearances over five years at Everton
TOM CLEVERLEY, JULY 2015, FREE
Tom Cleverley was another player who emerged from the United youth system and was expected to be a midfield mainstay for years to come having played 22 times in Ferguson’s final season at the club, winning the Premier League title.
Yet his form deteriorated after that following a loan spell at Aston Villa, Cleverley joined Everton in July 2015 after his United contract expired.
But he quickly moved on just 18 months later to Watford – where he still is – after falling out-of-favour under Ronald Koeman.
Tom Cleverley was another player who emerged from United’s youth team to play for Everton
MORGAN SCHNEIDERLIN, JANUARY 2017, £20M
Having signed for United in July 2015 for £25m after impressing in the Premier League for Southampton, the Frenchman soon lost his place under Jose Mourinho the following season.
Due to a lack of playing time, he moved to Everton and became a key player for the team as a linchpin in defensive midfield.
Yet after again losing his spot under Marco Silva, he moved to Nice in June 2020 for an undisclosed fee having made 88 appearances for the Toffees.
Morgan Schneiderlin was a key player for Everton for a few years before he lost his regular spot
WAYNE ROONEY, JULY 2017, £10M
Last but not leat, the most famous player to trade shirts between these two clubs – and he did it twice.
Wayne Rooney enjoyed 13 years of monumental success at Old Trafford after his £25m move to Utd from Everton as an 18-year-old – and is Utd’s all-time record goalscorer with 253 goals.
Yet after the then-club captain lost his spot in midfield under Mourinho, Everton took him back in the 2017-18 season, where he scored 10 goals in 31 appearances before deciding to move to the MLS.
Who knows? Having impressed in charge of Derby and last week rejecting the chance to talk to Everton about the manager’s position, Rooney could yet represent either club on the dugout in the years to come.
Everton took Wayne Rooney back in the 2017-18 season after 13 years of success at United