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Wayne Rooney to discuss England return with Gareth Southgate

21 August 2017 23:54

Wayne Rooney said he will speak to England manager Gareth Southgate about a potential return to the national team after he scored his second goal in two Premier League games for Everton.

The 31-year-old striker opened the scoring in the 35th minute of Everton's 1-1 draw against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium, side-footing into the net from close range for his 200th Premier League goal after Dominic Calvert-Lewin crossed from the right wing.

Rooney was assisted by Lewin for his first league goal since rejoining Everton when he scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over Stoke City at Goodison Park, and he acknowledged that his good form has put him in contention for England's forthcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Malta and Slovakia.

When asked about a potential call-up, Rooney told Sky Sports: "We'll see. I'm focused on Everton.

"I'm sure I'll speak to Gareth Southgate over the next few days and we'll have a conversation and see what happens."

Rooney's two Premier League goals in as many games have put him well on the way to eclipsing the five he scored for Manchester United last season.

He credited a busy pre-season and regular starts as reasons for his good form for Ronald Koeman's side.

"The manager has made it clear he wants to play me in any of the attacking positions. I've done that all of my career. The thing for me is to play," said Rooney.

"Last year I didn't feel I played enough games and if you're not playing those games, you're not getting the match fitness and I paid the price for that.

"I've had a good pre-season, played a lot of games over the last few weeks and I feel good. That's vital for me if I'm going to play in these different positions."

Rooney ran further than any other Everton player during the match, and he took the opportunity to hit back at some of his critics in recent years, describing the statistic as "not bad for someone who's not fit anymore and can't get about the pitch."

He added: "I've always put a shift in for the team and this was no different." 

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