Antonio Conte believes that Wayne Rooney could make a difference when Chelsea visit Goodison Park to face Everton.
Rooney called it quits from International football in August, having represented England in 119 appearances.
Conte believes that the decision to retire would have been a tough one for the former Manchester United man, but also asserted that his choice must be respected.
Rooney’s current form with Everton has buzzed opinions of the record goalscorer to represent the nation again at the World Cup in 2018.
The Everton talisman has scored six goals in the last five matches for the Toffees to mark their comeback in the Premier League, where they currently are in the 9th position.
Conte’s say on Rooney
Conte stated that the players must focus on Rooney as he can play a huge role in the fixture. He said: “We must pay great attention because I think Wayne Rooney is a player who, when he plays, plays with his soul. You can see this during the game.”
Conte believes that the 32-year-old still has a lot to offer and will eventually know when to hang up his boots from the sport. Conte also went on to add by mentioning his situation where he had to retire from the sport at the age of 35. He said: “I stopped my career at the age of 35 because I understood that my legs, especially my legs, didn’t support me,” My head and my heart and my soul, yes, wanted to continue. But my legs didn’t support me.
“When you wake up and you feel the pain in your knee, in your back, in your head, in your neck… when you realize this, you start to think, ‘this moment has arrived’.
Wayne Rooney retired from International duty this August but has been going strong at Everton since his return in the summer
Conte concluded by stating the fatigue levels in the team which will come into the picture with the fixture congestion. “The players need a bit of time to recover. One week to recover, and then restart. You have to try to put every team in the best situation to be competitive in all competitions.”
England’s record goalscorer has definitely a lot to offer which is evident by his position in the top goalscorers list. If Chelsea needs to secure a win to put pressure on the Manchester sides, they have to stop Rooney, who has scored against Chelsea, ten times in his career.