Wayne Rooney insists he can contribute to Everton

Returning Everton striker Wayne Rooney insists he had not gone stale at Manchester United and still has plenty to offer his boyhood club.

The 31-year-old signed a two-year deal after securing an emotional return to the club he left 13 years ago.

He has been quick to dismiss his critics who suggested his career was in terminal decline after struggling to secure a place in Jose Mourinho's first-choice side at Old Trafford.

"It hadn't gone stale (at United). I enjoyed my time there but I needed to play more games," said Rooney, United and England's all-time leading goalscorer.

"I didn't play that often last season. I know I am at my best when I am playing games consistently.

"It is obviously frustrating. My whole career I have played and it was the first time I didn't play and I was on the bench.

"Obviously I was the captain of Manchester United so you need to keep yourself positive and make sure you are not bringing negativity to the dressing room.

"I spoke with Jose and I knew it was the right time to leave and go and play somewhere else and I firmly believe Everton is the right club to do that.

"Of course there were other options but once I knew Ronald (Koeman) wanted to bring me back it was the only place I was going to play my football.

"I am not coming into a retirement home. I am ready to play, I want to win, I want to be successful at this football club."

Rooney has already set his sights on helping Everton end a trophy drought stretching back 22 years.

He had outstanding success at United, winning 11 major trophies including the Champions League, Europa League and five Premier League titles.

"I was at the FA Cup final in '95 when we won that and to win a trophy as a player at Everton would be a special moment," he added.

"It is too long (without a trophy). I feel the club are moving in the right direction. We will all pull together and make sure we give everything to do it.

"It is alright sitting here saying we want to win trophies but it is on us as a football club to make sure we do that. We have to work hard and make sure we do that."

Rooney still retains hope of regaining his England place, although he admits that is incumbent of him to play his way into the reckoning with an improvement in form this season.

"I am focused on playing well for Everton. If I do that then (England manager) Gareth Southgate will have a decision to make whether he puts me back in the squad," he said.

"Hopefully my performances will be good enough for Everton and he won't be able to ignore me."

- PA


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