Phil Jagielka has stated his belief that Wayne Rooney is as "hungry as ever" after the boyhood Blue's impressive start to life back at Everton.
The striker completed a sensational summer return to Goodison Park, and has already proved doubters wrong with a series of good displays in the Toffees' five competitive matches so far this term.
Rooney has notched two goals in as many Premier League outings already - strikes that have made him only the second player to register 200 goals in the Premier League - and Jagielka told the club's official site that the 31-year-old looks like a man reborn now that he is back where he belongs.
The club captain stated: “Wayne and his teammates never doubted him – I am not sure why people would doubt him. He has proven, when he gets a chance to play a number of games, he normally scores a number of goals.
“His record for his country and for the teams he has played for has been second to none. So far, in pre-season and in Europe, he has been one of our best players. And hopefully that form will continue.
“He ran more than anybody else at Manchester City. He has been putting it in, he looks fit and sharp, and is scoring goals. There is not much more we will be looking for him to do.”
Rooney's form for the Blues has led to assertions that an England recall is imminent, with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate present at Everton's last two matches to run the rule over a number of English stars.
At 34 years of age, Jagielka knows that his chances of making Southgate's squad in the future isn't exactly promising but he added that he would do all he could to help England qualify for the 2018 World Cup if called up for the September fixtures against Malta and Slovakia.
He said: “England will take care of itself. There some fantastic young centre-halves around. I am not sure where I am in the pecking order.
“Gareth is doing a good job so far. If I am needed, I am needed. If not, Gareth understands I don’t need to come on trips for experience, there are some great lads out there who could use that experience.
“Wayne didn’t have the chance to play as much as he would have liked last season. He is concentrating on his football with Everton and if England comes knocking – he is a lot younger than me and has more goals to go for – I am sure he will be happy.
“If not, we are delighted he will get some rest and be raring to go for us.”