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I needed the pressure of Everton return, says Rooney

The former Manchester United striker turned down more lucrative offers to return to Goodison Park.

Wayne Rooney chose pressure at Everton over a lucrative move overseas.
Wayne Rooney chose pressure at Everton over a lucrative move overseas.

By Carl Markham, Press Association Sport

Wayne Rooney chose the pressure of returning to Everton over a massive pay day in China.

The former England captain was linked with a move to the Far East in the final months of his Manchester United career, but eventually decided on an emotional homecoming at his boyhood club 13 years after leaving.

Rooney told BBC’s Football Focus he decided against seeing out his career “earning a lot of money” overseas.

“That’s not me, I need those goals, I need that pressure. That desire to play would have been lost if I’d chosen that other option,” he said.

“I knew that coming back to Everton was more pressure – that’s what I wanted.

“I wanted to prove myself again to the Everton fans and to try to help this club move forward and win silverware.

“I think it was the perfect fit for me and hopefully in the next two or three years we can do that.”

Last month manager Sam Allardyce suggested he could not play Rooney and £45million summer signing Gylfi Sigurdsson in the same side.

That led to Rooney spending a couple of matches on the bench, but the last two games he has started, in a deeper role, resulted in the club’s only two wins in the last 10 fixtures and it now seems Allardyce is open to the options the 32-year-old can offer.

“The one thing which stays is my attitude to playing, my attitude to win, but of course you change and adapt your game and that’s what I feel I’ve done over the last few years,” Rooney added.

“Two years ago, I thought my best position to play was midfield, and that’s starting to happen now.”

Allardyce has not only managed to find a way of getting the best out of Rooney but a number of his team-mates and, in less than three months, has succeeded in guiding them away from trouble.

“We have obviously got better results since Sam came in,” Rooney told evertonfc.com.

“At the start of the season the fixtures were very tough. It was my first few games back (after his move from United) and it was tough to put my finger on why that was happening.

“We had to get it together quickly or otherwise we would have been fighting relegation – and it would have been tough to get out of that.

“Our home form has been very good and it is now about whether we can sort out our away form.”

Press Association

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