JULY 10, 2017 – Wayne Rooney says he is not “coming into a retirement home” by rejoining Everton, and believes he can force his way back into the England squad.
The 31-year-old striker, re-signed on a free transfer, started 15 league games for Manchester United last season.
He was not in the England squad for matches against France and Scotland.
Rooney said he was “not focused” on England, but added: “Hopefully the performances are good for Everton and they won’t be able to ignore me.”
England’s record goalscorer has not played international football since November but feels he can give manager Gareth Southgate “a decision to make” by playing well.
“I think I always play like I’ve got a point to prove,” he said, at his first news conference since returning to Goodison Park. “I’m ready to play and want to win.
“I am excited and I’m looking at a challenge. I think it’s the right time in my career and I’m ready for it.
“It’s all right saying we are here to win trophies, and of course we want to. But it’s on us as a football club to do that. That’s why we have to make sure we do that.”
Koeman looks for ‘more productivity’
Rooney played 559 times for United, and his 253 goals mean he is the club’s record goalscorer.
He admitted being left out of Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up last season was, at times, “frustrating” but said he “hadn’t gone stale” at Old Trafford.
After training with his new team-mates for the first time on Monday, he sat alongside manager Ronald Koeman and talked of a feel-good factor at Everton.
Koeman has overseen spending of about £90m this summer, with the promise of more to come, and has challenged his new squad to deal with the void left by the departure of striker Romelu Lukaku as he nears a £75m move to Manchester United.
“We had a great striker like Romelu scoring 25 goals last season, but we needed more players with more productivity,” he said.
“It’s what we need to improve. I’d rather have several players scoring 10 goals. Wayne can bring that to the team.
“The experience of Wayne is really important to bring over to the rest of the players. He is an example for the younger players. I think we have missed a player like Wayne to have that experience in the team.
“So far we are doing good business and you will see in the next weeks, maybe we will do more.”
Koeman refused to talk about the future of 23-year-old midfielder Ross Barkley, who continues to be linked with a move.
And he said the intention was for Everton to improve on last season’s seventh-placed finish.
“It’s still too soon to talk about top four but we need to continue what we did last season and every club is trying to get good players,” said Koeman.
“If you want to win trophies, you have to like pressure. We have to get the type of players in who are used to that pressure.
“When Wayne and I spoke it was about ambition. He showed me in that meeting that he likes the pressure. We will have more pressure this season than last.
“Some players need pressure to get the most out of themselves. The qualities and ambition he showed me meant it was enough for me.”