Koeman lauds 'clever' Rooney after 200th Premier League goal

Raheem Sterling Wayne Rooney Man City Everton
The Everton boss was full of praise for the England star on a milestone night against Manchester City

Everton manager Ronald Koeman praised the quality of veteran forward Wayne Rooney after his 200th Premier League goal.

It was a match to remember for Rooney, who became only the second player to reach the milestone in Premier League history as Everton drew 1-1 at 10-man Manchester City on Monday.

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Rooney side-footed Dominic Calvert-Lewin's cross to give Everton the lead with his landmark goal 10 minutes before half-time, moving second only to Newcastle United great Alan Shearer's record of 260.

Everton, who also finished the match with 10 men following Morgan Schneiderlin's late red card, were eventually pegged back by Raheem Sterling and City, but former Manchester United captain Rooney was the topic of conversation post-game.

"He is still that player what every manager needs in his team and maybe more for Everton he is back home," Koeman told reporters.

"We have young players, three of 20 and they did a great job. He is that teacher of young players.

"We like to win titles and he knows how to do that. It is a big step up for the young players. Against Stoke I was really pleased with his performance. Also tonight with his cleverness to know every moment what is the right decision."

Rooney has hit the ground running since returning to boyhood club Everton in the off-season, having struggled for game time under United manager Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford last term.

The 31-year-old – who netted 183 goals at United and has 17 for Everton – scored the winner against Stoke City in the club's season-opener and he continued his strong start to the season at the Etihad Stadium.

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"I think it is always with 30-plus players they need regular game time. That is important for them," Koeman continued.

"He had a good pre-season, he trained a lot, he played a lot. He is on his physical space what he needs to give these performances. That is what he needs, good fitness and no doubt about his quality."

Rooney added: "To join Alan Shearer [in the 200 club] feels great… but I still have a lot to do to catch Alan. It's a great moment and hopefully there's a lot more to come."