Wayne Rooney explains why he rejected a move to China or MLS

Wayne Rooney explains why he rejected a move to China or MLS

Wayne Rooney has admitted he chose to return to Everton over a move to an overseas league such as the Chinese Super League because he wanted the “pressure” of being back at his boyhood club.

The former Manchester United striker rejoined the Toffees on a two-year deal last summer, 13 years after he originally left Everton for Old Trafford.

Rooney had the opportunity to go abroad, with teams in China and MLS reportedly interested in signing the former England captain.

But United’s record goalscorer, with 253 goals, believes any other move would have diminished his desire to play football.

“That’s not me, I need those goals, I need that pressure,” he told BBC’s Football Focus.

“That desire to play would have been lost if I’d chosen that other option.

“I knew that coming back to Everton was more pressure – that’s what I wanted. I wanted to prove myself again to the Everton fans and to try to help this club move forward and win silverware.

“I think it was the perfect fit for me and hopefully in the next two or three years we can do that.”

Signing for United in 2004 for £27 million, Rooney played 559 times in all competitions and won five Premier League titles as well as the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and four League Cups.

How is Rooney coping with the “pressure” at Everton?

Having played 22 Premier League games so far for Everton this season, Rooney is the club’s top scorer with 10 goals.

Despite spending the past few seasons as a midfielder with United, Rooney originally saw his role at Everton revert to him leading the line as the club struggled to cope with the departure of Romelu Lukaku.

Now playing in a deeper role again with Oumar Niasse the starting striker, Rooney has also created 23 chances so far this season – the second-highest at Everton behind Gylfi Sigurdsson – making two assists.