Shani Tarashaj: Wayne Rooney a factor in me signing for Everton

Everton midfielder Shani Tarashaj says Wayne Rooney played a part in his decision to join the Premier League club.

Tarashaj, 20, signed for the Toffees from Grasshoppers on a four-and-a-half-year deal last week, and was immediately loaned back to the Zurich club for the rest of the season.

Everton reportedly spent £3 million on the Switzerland under-21 international, who has scored eight goals in 18 matches for Grasshoppers.

"It's a big club, it's a huge opportunity for me," he told Blick. "I am a young player, and it's always been a dream of mine to play for Everton, to play in the Premier League."

Tarashaj said that Manchester United captain Rooney -- who began his career at Everton, before leaving for Old Trafford in 2004 -- has always been a "role model" to him.

"He started out his career there [at Everton]," Tarashaj added, before looking ahead to the second half of the season in Switzerland. "It's a win-win situation for me. It's very important that I can help the team, and also continue my development."