Chelsea boss praises Wayne Rooney for 'playing with his soul' at Everton

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has hailed Wayne Rooney for playing with his soul whenever he is on the pitch for Everton. The former England international made a surprise decision to join his boyhood club last summer, and he has since been a revelation, contributing 10 goals in the Premier League.

In the lead-up to the Everton game, Conte was wary over the abilities of Rooney, who has managed six goals in his last five top-flight games. He added to praise the 32-year-old for making the move to Goodison Park, where he has recently earned the right to wear the captain's armband.

Conte said: "He is showing his ability. For sure, Wayne Rooney is one of the best players of Everton. I think it was a great move for him. He’s showing he’s a fantastic player Everton. I think it was a great move for him. He’s showing he’s a fantastic player. Wayne Rooney plays with his soul. You can see this during the game."

Chelsea dug deep to claim a 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the League Cup quarter-final, and they could expect a tricky challenge at Merseyside with Alvaro Morata certain to miss the game. The Spain international was booked for his celebrations after the late winner versus the Cherries, and this triggered a one-match domestic ban for accumulating five yellow cards.

The Blues are currently 14 points behind Manchester City, who are atop of the Premier League table, and their chances of reclaiming their title look bleak, unless the Citizens have a major dip in form during the second half of the season.

Pep Guardiola's side have maintained a 16-match winning streak in the English top-flight, and they could be fancied to extend this record run further as they host Bournemouth in the next league outing at the Etihad Stadium. City have dropped points on just one occasion this campaign.