Everton boss Ronald Koeman has pledged to use Wayne Rooney in an attacking role following the England striker’s return to his boyhood club from Manchester United.
Rooney has proven largely ineffective in occasional appearances as a midfield playmaker, most notably during the 2016 European Championship, with hopes for a Paul Scholes-like conversion unrealised.
The 31-year-old remains guarded on precisely what position he would play in his second spell at Everton, but Koeman insists Rooney will be operating in the final third.
“Everybody knows Wayne and the qualities of Wayne. We will try to get more productivity,” said Koeman.
“A player with those qualities can play out of different positions. But offensively: a No10 behind the striker, a free role from the left, the No9, the No7. That’s the position where Wayne will play.”
Rooney, whose increasingly peripheral at United saw him dropped by England coach Gareth Southgate this summer, believes a renaissance at Goodison Park could lead to an international recall.
“If I play well for Everton then Gareth Southgate will have a decision to make,” he said. “If my performances are good enough hopefully he won’t be able to ignore me.”