Everton defender Leighton Baines has praised the move of former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.

The defender says the all-time goalscorer for United has “a lot” to contribute to the team.

Everton FC are set to face GorMahia in Tanzania on Thursday and Rooney is expected to feature for the first time in a royal blue jersey since his return to his boyhood club. The England national team skipper trained with the team on Wednesday evening after his grand arrival at Dar esSaleem. He had completed the deal from Old Trafford on Sunday before making the flight to join his teammates on Wednesday.

Everton stars have been involved in a number of cultural events since they arrived at the African country. AdemolaLookman, IdrissaGueye, YannickBolasie and Baines visited the UhuruMchanganyiko Primary School. They were showed what UK Aid were doing for the physically impaired students.

Baines says it is early pre-season so the team is bonding with new teammates is happening a lot. He says the players hope to work on their fitness with the GorMahia battle while entertaining the fans.

“It’s primarily about fitness for us at the moment, getting used to being back on the pitch. We’ve only been back in training for a week, so it’s still a bit early for us, but it’s a good opportunity for us to get a few minutes under our belt,” Baines opined.

On Rooney, he said: “He’s going to bring a lot to the team on and off the pitch, I’m sure of that.”

Everton hope to cement their new sponsorship deal with betting company SportPesa. The Premier League side are expected to fly out on Friday after their Thursday game. They would also bring media presence to some concerns in the country.