Rooney gets Everton off to winning start

Everton manager Ronald Koeman said Wayne Rooney, who scored on his return to the club in the 1-0 win over Stoke on Saturday, was far from a spent force and showed exactly why he was the right signing for the club.

It was the 31-year-old striker's 199th Premier League goal.

He's a very clever player who will score goals and bring his teammates into the game.

For the most part, he was too deep, stepping on the toes of Everton's two defensive midfielders Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye.

Everton have had deals worth up to £40 million and £45 million rejected for the Iceland midfielder this summer but Koeman said: "We are close".

The pair that comes out on top will certainly have a big say in where a potential victory lies, but there will be only so much either duo can do if neither team's forward lines produce the goods where it matters.

Everton midfielder James McCarthy will miss out the Premier League opener against Stoke City as he continues his recovery from a knee injury. You know in the Premier League that if you think you have an easy start then they will make you pay.

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Rooney's name had been cheered to the rafters when the Everton team, featuring fellow debutants Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez, was read out before kick-off.

Stephen Ireland (leg) and Ibrahim Afellay (knee), are definitely out of Saturday's game.

Doubts persist over the involvement of Bojan Krkic (calf) and Josh Tymon (foot) as well, but the Welshman may be able to hand debuts to the likes of Kurt Zouma and Fletcher following their summer switches to the Bet365 Stadium.

The 41-cap global had an injury-interrupted campaign past year, featuring just 13 times for his club, while his appearances for his country last October led to a war of words between Everton and Ireland team management.

Only once in Mark Hughes' four seasons as boss have the Potters got three points on the board in August and that was in 2013.

"We've got some tough fixtures coming up and it was important we got off to a good start and that will give us all confidence going into the next game".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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