London, United Kingdom | AFP | Wayne Rooney will make his first appearance back in an Everton shirt in the club’s friendly against Kenyan opponents Gor Mahia in Tanzania on Thursday.
Manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed all players making the trip to East Africa will feature for at least 45 minutes in the game.
“I’m looking forward to it — it should be a good trip,” former England captain Rooney, whose return to his boyhood club was confirmed when he signed a two-year contract at the weekend to end his 13-year stay at Manchester United, told evertontv.
“It’s good when you go away with the team. It’s good to be around the hotel with the players, spend more time with them and get to know them more.”
Koeman said the squad will leave Tuesday and return Friday after the game.
“This is our first friendly and everybody will be involved for 45 minutes in the game. You play football to win and we will do that in Tanzania,” he said.
Everton have spent close to £100 million in a summer spending spree but captain Phil Jagielka said the signing of Rooney was a “bit special”.
“To get Wayne in so early is great. He will be able to go on the pre-season trips we have and become as fit as possible,” he told evertontv.
“It will be great to have him around the gaff because he knows what it takes to be an Everton player.
“He has had to pretend not to be for a little while but, as you can see, he is delighted to put on the blue shirt.”