Everton manager David Moyes has hailed Wayne Rooney as a rare talent on the ten year anniversary of his debut Premier League wonder-goal against Arsenal.
Rooney ended the Gunners 30 match unbeaten streak in 2002 with a stunning effort aged just 16, making him at that point the Premier League’s youngest ever goal scorer.
In the proceeding ten years the 26-year-old has secured a big money move to Manchester United and is up to 5th on the all-time England goalscorers list.
Moyes, who handed Rooney his first league appearance, revealed he was fully aware that he had something special on his hands when the first set eyes on the young striker.
"We knew what we had at the club. I got told about him as soon as I came in the door,” he said.
"He was everything we hoped. He was a man when he was very young. He had the ability and the talent but also a desire to play football.
"Wayne could have been a goalie, he could have been a right-back, a centre-half, he could play any position because it was his love for football which I think was one of the biggest factors.
"He didn't need coaching because when he came in he could play with good players, he adapted to what he had to do.
"I think you come across these players very rarely. England have had some great players over the years but I don't think you get batches and batches of them, and Wayne is one of them."
Moyes, who recently celebrated ten years in charge at Goodison Park himself, says it was Rooney’s style that made him so endearing.
"All he wanted to do was get the ball,” the Scot explained. “There was none of this warming up and making sure you're all stretched, not with Wayne, it was a case of, 'I'm on the street and I'm going to go and kick the ball and do what I do'.
"It was a throwback to the way I felt I was brought up. Wayne was a street player and he showed that when he came out onto the training ground as a professional. He was a joy to have around - he was hard work at times but he was a great player."