Wayne Rooney's England chances helped by Everton move, says Gareth Southgate
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 27/07/17 8:32am
Gareth Southgate says Wayne Rooney's move to Everton has increased his chances of breaking back into the England squad.
The 31-year-old was overlooked by Southgate for June's World Cup Qualifier against Scotland and a friendly against France, with the England boss saying other strikers were simply in better form.
Rooney, who is England's record goalscorer, started just 15 of 38 Premier League games for Manchester United last season, scoring five goals, but Southgate is hopeful he will be a far more central figure at Goodison Park this season.
"The great thing for Rooney is that he will probably be playing more regular football and so it's as simple as that," Southgate told the London Evening Standard. "In the league we only have 70 English players, and so we certainly aren't ruling anybody out."
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has backed Rooney to force his way into Southgate's plans and is pleased with the impact he is already having on his new team-mates.
"First of all, if you play really good football and produce great performances for your club it is possible that he will come back to the national team," said Koeman.
"But it always starts with the club, his performances for the club and then it's reasonable that he will go back to the national team. There is the quality of the player, the confidence I see in his football.
"And what I really like is his ambition in training, he shows the young lads in the team his experience and explains things, decisions about football, about positions. He's a big player in English football and all the players know all about Wayne Rooney.
"He's an example about winning titles, about the qualities he shows on the pitch and he can be a teacher for the young players off the pitch."