Thursday, 24 August 2017

Rooney retirement ‘good for Everton’ – Koeman

Ronald Koeman says Wayne Rooney’s international retirement is “a good decision for him and for Everton”.

Rooney turned down the chance of an England recall this week, instead announcing an end to a career which brought a record 53 goals in 119 appearances.

The 31-year-old has scored in successive Premier League games since returning to Everton from Manchester United, early-season form which prompted a phone call from Gareth Southgate ahead of Thursday’s squad announcement.

Koeman said: “He had a talk with the national coach and made his decision, because he thinks it is the best for Everton. It is always the player’s decision, and of course, I respect that.

“If you reach the group stage of the Europa League and have international duty, then that is a really tough programme.

“His fitness is really good at the moment. It is up to the player to decide the best thing to do.

“I respect that, and I would have respected it if he had made a different decision about his future as an international player.

“I think it is a good decision for him and a good decision for Everton. It means when the internationals come, he will have some time at home with his family.”

England play Malta and Slovakia in World Cup qualifying at the start of next month.

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