Wayne Rooney is convinced he has still got what it takes to prosper in the Premier League as he targets a return with Derby.
The former Everton and Manchester United striker will resume his career in England next month after joining the Rams as player-coach from MLS side DC United, and promotion back to the top flight and the chance to take care of unfinished business are at the top of his agenda.
The 34-year-old told several national newspapers: “I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that.
“Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them.
“Ryan Giggs was able to play into his late thirties in the Premier League and Gareth Barry says he wants to do it at 40.
“It’s important to understand football. It is not all about running round, it is about using your head to play the game.
“Sometimes that gets lost, because you don’t score as many goals or whatever. Given the right team around me, then I could still play in the Premier League.
“The two teams I played for in the Premier League were Manchester United and Everton. I am at Derby now, and hopefully we can get there with them.”
The former England captain, whose tally of 208 Premier League goals is bettered only by Alan Shearer, headed for America in June last year after leaving first club Everton, who he had re-joined from United following a 13-year stay at Old Trafford.