Wayne Rooney to play against Spurs despite drink-driving charge
Koeman ‘disappointed’ with Everton striker but will use him on Saturday if he is fit enough
Everton manager Ronald Koeman with Wayne Rooney: “I like to have discipline in my team, on the pitch and off the pitch.” Photograph: Mark Robinson/Getty Images
Ronald Koeman has said he is “very disappointed” with Wayne Rooney over the 31-year-old’s drink-driving charge and that the player will be “dealt with internally at the appropriate time”.
However, Everton’s manager confirmed Rooney would play against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on Saturday.
“I like to have discipline in my team, on the pitch and off the pitch,” said Koeman. “I am very disappointed by this situation regarding Wayne. We spoke on Tuesday and the chairman, Bill Kenwright, has also spoken to Wayne about it. In line with any disciplinary matter, this will be dealt with internally at an appropriate time and that is all I have to say about the case. He will play this Saturday. If I see that Wayne is not in a physical or mental condition to play, then he won’t play.”
Rooney was charged with drink-driving by Cheshire police on September 1st after being stopped in the early hours of the same day. He was released on bail and is due to appear at Stockport magistrates court on September 18th, the day after he is due to play at Old Trafford for the first time following his summer move from Manchester United.
Rooney is due to appear in court on September 18th, a day after he is expected to make his first return to Manchester United since rejoining Everton.
Koeman’s other issue over the international break was the collapse of Ross Barkley’s £35 million transfer to Chelsea.
The 23-year-old, currently sidelined by a grade three hamstring tear likely to keep him out until November at the earliest, pulled out of the move at the last minute on deadline day despite travelling to London.
“Ross also came to see me and he explained why he turned down the move,” Koeman said. “That was a private conversation and I am not the right man to reveal what was said. I don’t think that would be fair. There was an agreement between Chelsea and Everton for the player to move but the final decision was up to the player and it didn’t happen, so Ross remains an Everton player under contract until the end of the season.
“It was a strange last day of the transfer window but other clubs could say the same. Philippe Coutinho is still at Liverpool, Alexis Sánchez did not join Manchester City. These things can happen if deals are left until the last minute – it’s part of the business – but it did surprise me that all that stuff was left so late. Everyone knew he had not signed a new contract at Everton and in that situation, if you want the player, you have the whole summer.”
Koeman is happy with the business Everton conducted, bringing in Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jordan Pickford, Sandro Ramírez, Davy Klaassen and Nikola Vlasic as well as Rooney, though he does not deny his disappointment at not replacing Romelu Lukaku. “That was our main priority,” he said. “In the end we could not get what we wanted. There were other options to consider but it can be a problem if you make a late switch to option three or four.”