Energised Rooney wants England shirt

July 11, 2017
Wayne Rooney, right, holds an Everton shirt with his new manager Ronald Koeman during a press conference at Goodison Park, Liverpool, England, on Monday.

LIVERPOOL, England (AP):

Wayne Rooney believes his return to Everton can revive his international career with England.

Rooney, who has 119 caps and a record 53 goals for England, was left out of the most recent squad in June for matches against Scotland and France, with coach Gareth Southgate saying there were forwards in better form.

The 31-year-old Rooney had to accept a reduced status at United last season in Jose Mourinho's first year in charge but moving back to Everton 13 years after leaving Goodison Park signals a fresh start and should see him start more matches.

"I am focused on playing well for Everton," Rooney said at his presentation yesterday. "If I do that, then Gareth Southgate will have a decision to make whether he puts me back in the squad.

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

Rooney said he left United because he "needed to play games."

"It hadn't gone stale, but I know I am at my best when I am playing games consistently. I spoke with JosÈ and I knew it was the right time to leave and go and play somewhere else.

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