Everton's Wayne Rooney hailed by Ronald Koeman after Stoke winner
Ronald Koeman says Wayne Rooney proved he is "still one of the best in his position" with Saturday's match-winning display for Everton.
Rooney took the decision to leave Manchester United after 13 years in the summer to re-join Everton, who he inspired to victory on his first Premier League appearance for the club in 4,837 days.
The 31-year-old, who had been short of regular first-team football at United, nodded home at the end of a fine team move late in the first half to secure a 1-0 win against Stoke and impressed with his all-round display at Goodison Park.
"He shows that he's still one of the best in his position,'' Koeman said. "I think he was different class in ball possession -- he was comfortable on the ball, he took right, good decisions on the ball and he scored a great goal. And you cannot ask more [than] that.''
Asked if Rooney brought to the team what he wanted, Koeman added: "Yeah, that's what you like. You like to have players in the team with a lot of a cleverness on the pitch and that they know, they see and they handle what they need to do at a certain moment. That was his best game so far.''
Rooney had already made his competitive return for Everton against MFK Ruzomberok in the third qualifying round of the Europa League -- a competition he won with United last season.
The forward will be key if Everton are to go far in it this term and Koeman sees him as an important influence on the group, especially his younger players.
"That's experience,'' he said. "He played a long time out of the highest level in football. He won titles and of course that's a big experience. We have some young players, they need to learn, they need to improve and they have a really good teacher -- not always in talking but also what he is showing on the pitch.''