The Manchester United boss is sure the striker will cope with the inevitable taunts from the Goodison Park crowd when his side clashes with Roberto Martinez’s men on Sunday
Manchester United manager David Moyes expects Wayne Rooney to “stand up and be seen” when he returns to Goodison Park to face Everton on Sunday.
Rooney, who left Everton for United in 2004, has a volatile relationship with the Toffees fans and has often been booed on his returns to Merseyside, with Sir Alex Ferguson sometimes electing to leave him out of the starting XI when his United side played Moyes’ men.
Yet Moyes, who could also be in for a hostile reception himself, has backed a “mature” Rooney to cope with the taunts of the crowd as United look to seal qualification for next season’s Europa League.
“I’ve never been back to Goodison with Wayne in the team, so I can’t give you an answer from my period,” he told reporters.
“But that was something Alex felt at times. I, though, remember Wayne going back and scoring against us.
“And Wayne is a different player to even then – he has maturity on his side, he’s just signed a new contract and he is due to go to the World Cup as one of England’s leading players.
“If ever there was a player ready to play in any game it’s Wayne, with the age he is, the time of his career and what he is capable of.
“You’d be expecting him to stand up – and I expect him to stand up and be seen at Goodison.”
Moyes also feels Rooney is one of the best players in the country, even comparing him with Ballon d’Or winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and feels he has been unfairly snubbed by the PFA – who left the England international out of the end-of-season Player of the Year award nominations.
“Of course, you see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on television playing in Spain,” he added. “But I think Rooney will come into that category for the people who watch football in this country.
“The PFA have just nominated six players for their Player of the Year and Wayne is not in it.
“But that is probably more to do with the season Manchester United have had – we’ve not done so well this year.
“Wayne’s early-season form was very good, then he got an injury around Christmas and that’s also had as much to do with it as anything.”