LONDON (AFP) – Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has warned Premier League defenders that he plans to keep terrorising them for the next decade.
Rooney made his Premier League debut for Everton against Tottenham 10 years ago when he was aged just 16 and fittingly he will kick off United’s domestic campaign with a return to Goodison Park on Monday.
With four Premier League titles, a Champions League winners’ medal and numerous individual accolades to show for his time at Manchester United, Rooney is well established as one of the best strikers in the world.
But the 26-year-old insists there is still much more to achieve and he plans to keep playing at the highest level for another decade.
“It’s great to have played in the Premier League for 10 years,” Rooney said.
“It’s an exciting league and I still feel exactly the same about my football as I did when I made my debut. It does feel like a long time ago, though.
“I’m still fairly young. I feel young anyway. I just hope I can play for another 10 years and have as much enjoyment as I did in my first 10.”
Rooney should get even more pleasure now he can count last season’s Premier League Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie among his team-mates.
Van Persie’s £24 million move from Arsenal has given a massive lift to Rooney and company after last season’s failure to win a trophy for the first time since 2005.
The frustration of seeing local rivals Manchester City snatch the title from their grasp with two stoppage-time goals to beat QPR on the final day of the season is still fresh in the memories of everyone at Old Trafford.
But with van Persie and Rooney set to form a formidable forward line, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, still vexed that City’s superior attack enabled them to win the title on goal difference, has vowed to go on a goal-spree.
However, Rooney knows David Moyes’ Everton have proved to be troublesome opponents over the last couple of seasons.
Two years ago the Merseyside outfit scored twice in injury time to snatch a point on home soil and their equally staggering comeback at Old Trafford last April, when they recovered from 4-2 down inside the final 10 minutes, is viewed by many as the day when United’s title aspirations suffered their most damaging jolt.
“It is a really tough first game,” Rooney said. “Over the last few years, Everton have not really started well in the league.
“But, as an Evertonian, I know, both growing up and playing for them, when Manchester United go to Goodison, the whole place is lifted and the fans make it far more difficult.
“That game last season probably did cost us the league, so we have an incentive to get the three points.
“Everton work extremely hard. They are a really fit team, so you need to keep possession and try to tie them down.
“They have got a couple of good results against us in the last couple of seasons when we really should have won the games.
“This time, we need to make sure if we do go ahead, we stay focused and see the game out.”