Ronald Koeman hails the influence of Wayne Rooney
Last Updated: 26/08/17 2:44pm
Ronald Koeman says Wayne Rooney's influence is already being felt at Goodison Park, and has praised the former England captain, who earlier this week announced his retirement from international football.
Rooney, who turns 32 in October, has scored in both of Everton's Premier League games this season and helped the team reach the group stages of the Europa League.
Speaking ahead of Everton's match against Chelsea on Sunday, Koeman said: "He's been vital from the beginning, not only on the pitch but also off the pitch.
"He's teaching young players and it's good for the manager to have that type of player - he's experienced.
"And most of the other players need that experience and can learn a lot from Wayne."
As for calling time on his international career, Koeman added: "He'll be more fresh and will get some days off next week.
"He needs regular game time and I respect his decision regarding the national team. I think it's good for Everton."
Koeman believes Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson, two summer signings by the Toffees, should form a strong partnership going forward.
He added: "Good clever footballers understand quickly. I think these two players understand the role, the situation in a game."
Koeman also praised another summer signing, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who has hit the ground running since joining in June on a £25m transfer fee.
He went on: "Of course we know the qualities of Jordan. From the beginning, he's showing he's really comfortable.
"He has made some important saves, like the penalty yesterday (at Hajduk Split in the Europa League) at an important moment in the game.
"He's a promising young goalkeeper, has a lot of ambition and is now selected by the national team.
"Most of the time I've had more experienced goalkeepers but it's not about age, it's about quality."