Tuesday 21 November 2017

Wayne Rooney excited by the challenge he faces on return to Everton

New Everton signing Wayne Rooney
New Everton signing Wayne Rooney
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Wayne Rooney admitted he was excited by the challenge of playing for Everton again after rejoining his boyhood club for an undisclosed fee.

The 31-year-old signed a two-year deal with the club he left in 2004 on Sunday after a success-laden spell at Manchester United where he won five Premier League titles and a Champions League.

But for Rooney, Everton was always his first love and remained close to his heart. After being presented with his new Toffees shirt from manager Ronald Koeman, the striker told a news conference on Monday: "It feels great (to be back).

"I was excited this morning to go in and meet the lads on the training pitch and get going.

"It's an exciting time for myself and for Everton Football Club, we're moving forward. We're signing new players. We're targeting a good season and we're all hoping this year will be a good year for us. You want to do better than you did the previous year.

"You want to keep pressing, as players, as fans so that's something we want to do.

"I feel the club are moving in the right direction. Obviously the manager will have ideas of the players he wants to bring in."

Rooney burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old with Everton and moved to United in a £27million deal two years later. He began to fall down the pecking order at United last season and made just 15 Premier League starts in 2016-17.

Rooney admitted this was the correct move at this point in his career, saying: "I was at the stage in my career to take the next step. I spoke with Ronald and it's where I need to be."

He was linked with moves to China and the United States but, when it became apparent he would be leaving United, the chance to rejoin Everton always seemed the most appealing.

Looking ahead to Everton's Premier League clash with United at Old Trafford on September 17, Rooney added: "Obviously I had a good time at Manchester United, but football moves on, I've come back to Everton."

And Rooney says winning a trophy with his boyhood club would be "incredible", adding: "I think that's why you play football to try to win trophies and that's what we want to do.

"We want to be successful and we know the right man to lead us to it.

"It'll be incredible (to win silverware with Everton). I was at the FA Cup final in 1995 when we won that and to win a trophy with Everton would be a special moment."

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