By Matt Bullin
Everton Under-23s manager David Unsworth believes Wayne Rooney can help the young players at the club to develop.
Toffees manager Ronald Koeman was praised last season for putting faith in youngsters, in a campaign which saw the likes of Tom Davies and Mason Holgate play leading roles in the first team.
Nevertheless, Everton have been among the busiest clubs in the transfer window this summer, and they have brought in several players who are expected to go straight into the starting XI.
Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Michael Keane and Rooney, are all likely to go straight into Koeman’s first team squad, which may mean opportunities for youngsters may be limited.
However, Unsworth does not believe that to be the case, and he has stated that having players like Rooney around the squad will only be beneficial to Everton’s young players’ development.
“First and foremost, Wayne has got so much to offer as a player but he’s also a winner,” Unsworth told the Liverpool Echo.
“So if any Everton player, not just the young players, isn’t benefiting from playing and training alongside him, well, they’re not tapping into that winning mentality.
“He’s a terrific player and he’s won everything. Everybody should tap into Wayne, not just the young players.”
Rooney, 31, left Manchester United to put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with his boyhood club last week.
The England star started his career at Goodison Park when he burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old, but he joined Man United in 2004, where he went on to become a club legend.
The attacker won five Premier League titles and a Champions League during his spell at Old Trafford, as well as numerous other honours.
In other Everton news, fans took to Twitter to react after Rooney’s arrival was confirmed.