Wayne Rooney: Everton striker's focus is on club rather than country

Wayne Rooney
Rooney celebrated his 200th goal by cupping his hands to his ears in front of the City supporters

Striker Wayne Rooney says he is "focusing on Everton" rather than an international recall after scoring his 200th Premier League goal.

Rooney, 31, netted the opener in Monday's 1-1 draw at Manchester City - his second goal in two league games.

England manager Gareth Southgate overlooked him for matches against Scotland and Spain in June.

Rooney said: "I'm sure I'll speak to Gareth Southgate over the next few days. We'll see what happens."

Southgate is due to name a squad on Thursday for the World Cup qualifiers in Malta on 1 September, and home to Slovakia three days later.

Former England captain Rooney is the leading all-time scorer for both his country - with 53 - and Manchester United, for whom he scored 253 times in 13 years.

Having rejoined Everton this summer, Rooney has scored in the team's opening two Premier League games - against Stoke and Manchester City.

Finding the net at Etihad Stadium made him only the second player after Alan Shearer to score 200 Premier League goals.

Rooney, who celebrated by cupping his ears in front of the home supporters, told Sky Sports: "It was nice.

"To do it today in such an important game for us, with tough games coming up, it was a sweet moment and I am sure the red half of Manchester will have enjoyed it as well."


Welcome to the club - reaction

Premier League's leading goalscorer Alan Shearer: "Congratulations Wayne on reaching 200 Premier League goals, a great achievement. Where have you been? The 200 club has been a lonely place without you. Well done, I am sure you have a few more goals in you."

Everton manager Ronald Koeman: "He is still the player that every manager needs in his team. He is back home. He is that teacher for younger players. We would like to win titles and he knows how to win titles. He has that cleverness to know the best decision on the pitch.

"Players over 30 need regular game time. He had a good pre-season - trained and played a lot. He is in the physical state he needs to give these performances."

Former Manchester United and Everton defender Phil Neville on BBC Radio 5 live: "I think this move has come at the perfect time for him in his career, I don't think he is anywhere near finished. I see a footballer who looks challenged, motivated and really, really happy playing for the club that he loves more than any other.

"The biggest question may be whether Wayne Rooney wants to play for England, not whether England want Wayne Rooney. Looking at him, he's playing in the Europa League and he will want to do well for Everton. He might be want the international break to recharge his batteries."

Former Everton and England midfielder Leon Osman on BBC Radio 5 live: "His performances justify the [England] talk, he's been one of the better strikers at the start of this season. We all know the quality Wayne's got, he just wasn't quite getting the run of games at Manchester United.

"He's not the long-term future but we're talking about a man who's 31. I didn't make my England debut until I was 31, so there's still a lot of football left in Wayne Rooney. If he continues to play like he is doing, I can certainly see him being involved in the summer in the World Cup."

Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye: "Very tough game! Disappointed not to get all three points but congratulations to Wayne Rooney for his 200th goals."

Former club Manchester United: "Congratulations to Wayne Rooney on reaching 200 Premier League goals. A true legend!"

Top Premier League goalscorers
Alan Shearer441260
Wayne Rooney462200
Andy Cole414187
Frank Lampard609177
Thierry Henry258175
Robbie Fowler379163


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