Wayne Rooney denied that his time at Manchester United was becoming “stale”, but said it was the right time to leave Old Trafford to re-join Everton.
The 31-year-old won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, the FA Cup, Europa League and a Champions League crown during a 13-year spell at United where he also became the club’s leading goalscorer last season.
“I know I’m at my best when I’m playing games consistently. I spoke with Jose and it was the right time for me to leave and go play somewhere else and I firmly believe that Everton is the right club for me to do that.”
However, he found his playing time restricted under Jose Mourinho last term, starting just 15 Premier League games, and, as he faced the media on Monday for the first time since re-joining his boyhood club, Rooney said it was the right time to leave United.
“It hadn’t gone stale, I enjoyed my time there, of course, but I needed to play more games and I didn’t play that often last season,” he said.
Rooney will encounter his former team-mates for the first time when Everton travel to United on September 17, but he said he is more concerned about winning rather than his return.
“I’m going to Old Trafford to try to win three points with Everton,” he said. “Football moves on, players move on, I’ve come back to Everton. The fixtures are tough, we need to get the pre-season right.”