Michael Keane believes Wayne Rooney is enjoying a new lease of life at Everton and deserves a recall to the England squad.
England’s record goalscorer netted his 200th Premier League goal – becoming only the second player to reach that landmark – in Everton’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Monday.
The goal was also Rooney’s second in two league appearances since rejoining his boyhood club from Manchester United and his new team-mate Keane is impressed by his work-rate.
The defender said: ‘You see it more so than ever. He wants to do really well for this club. He wants to help us win something. Until that happens he won’t be resting.
‘He has been fantastic since day one. He is a leader in the dressing room, he has worked really hard on his fitness and it is showing in the games.
‘Obviously (it’s) two goals in two games now and hopefully it will be a lot more. He has shown his quality as well as his leadership skills.’
Rooney was dropped by England manager Gareth Southgate last season as he struggled to command a regular place during his final campaign at United.
Keane and Rooney played against each other last season for Burnley and Manchester United
Once team-mates in Manchester, the duo now play alongside each other at Everton
Keane hopes to see him return as Southgate prepares to name his squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia on Thursday.
The 24-year-old said: ‘Personally I think he deserves it the way he has been playing but that is up to the manager. There are a lot of good strikers who have been scoring goals so it is his decision.’
Keane is also hoping he has done enough to catch Southgate’s eye since joining Everton from Burnley in the summer.
Keane, who won two caps last season, said: ‘I think we both have a good chance. There are a lot of good centre-halves out there at the minute. I am not taking anything for granted but hopefully I will be under consideration.’
Rooney put Everton ahead in the 35th minute at the Etihad Stadium with a shot that went through the legs of goalkeeper Ederson.
Everton new boy Keane hopes to become an England regular and wants Rooney alongside him
Controversy then erupted when City controversially had Kyle Walker sent off before the break but the hosts battled back to secure a point with an 82nd-minute Raheem Sterling equaliser. Everton also ended the game with 10 men as Morgan Schneiderlin collected a second booking in the closing moments.
Keane said: ‘If you looked before the game and said we would take a point from this place we would have been happy, but the way the game went it’s a little bit disappointing we couldn’t hold on for the win.
‘They were attacking without causing us too much trouble but we were under pressure and, unfortunately for us, that pressure told in the end.’