Phil Jagielka says Wayne Rooney’s return has created "a buzz" within the Everton squad.
The England legend trained on Monday for the first time since his arrival from Manchester United and Jagielka says it was obvious to see just how excited those around USM Finch Farm were to have the Academy graduate back with the Blues.
The skipper had caught wind that a potential return to his boyhood club was in the offing for Rooney, and he is delighted to now have his international teammate alongside him at Goodison Park.
“He was in for the first time on Monday, joining in with the boys, and you could tell he is excited,” said Jagielka. “We are all excited too, as we are about all the new signings. But with Wayne it is that little bit special.
“Obviously it [the move] had gathered momentum over the last few weeks or so but it was fantastic to get it done.
"You heard rumours that Manchester United were prepared to let him come this way, then it just came down to the powers that be to decide whether Wayne was going to suit what we have planned for the next few years. Thankfully [they decided] he does.
"You can tell in the interviews he has done already that he is happy. He has a new challenge now, which I think is perfect for him at this time in his career.”
Rooney’s return is just another part of an exciting pre-season for the Club, the 31-year-old joining the likes of Sandro Ramirez, Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen as new additions to Ronald Koeman's squad.
With games in Tanzania, Holland and Belgium to come over the next few weeks, Jagielka says a busy pre-season schedule will allow Rooney and his fellow incoming recruits to acclimatise to their new surroundings.
“It is exciting coming back in for pre-season ahead of a new season,” he added. “There are new kits and things like that but also new players coming in. You want to get them in as soon as possible and thankfully we have a few of them in now.
“To get Wayne in so early is great. He will be able to go on the pre-season trips we have and become as fit as possible. It will be great to have him around the gaff because he knows what it takes to be an Everton player. He has had to pretend not to be for a little while but, as you can see, he is delighted to put on the blue shirt.”
Keane previously worked alongside Rooney at Manchester United and echoed Jagielka's comments.
The defender added: "There’s been a massive buzz. To have such a huge name like that coming in gives the whole place a lift.
"A lot of the staff here remember him when he was a 16-year-old boy so for him to come back and see everyone is a great moment for everyone involved."