It only seems a few years ago that a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney was scoring his first goal for Everton - a wonder strike against Arsenal.
Fast forward 14 years and the striker is now getting ready for his testimonial as a Manchester United legend. On Wednesday night, he will take to the field with United to face his former club at Old Trafford.
Despite Rooney once revealing a t-shirt that read “once a blue, always a blue,” the England international only lasted two seasons at Goodison Park before making a £25.6million move to Old Trafford.
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A hat-trick against Fenerbahce on his debut got his United career off to an absolute flyer and he hasn't looked back since. Twelve seasons and 245 goals later, Rooney has established himself as a Manchester United legend.
But, with him turning 31 later this year, the forward has to start planning the rest of his career. With his contract expiring in 2019, Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford has revealed the aims of the superstar.
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“The very best players who perform at the highest level will always be subject to speculation from the biggest and best clubs,” he told talkSPORT.
“Undoubtedly there has been speculation and undoubtedly there have been enquiries.
“But from Wayne’s point of view, he was determined to stay at Manchester United and agree a new contact, and that’s evident by the fact that he’s still here going into his 13th year at the club.
“Wayne has gone public in stating that he intends to see out his current contract.
“Should Man United make it clear they want him to stay beyond , I think we’ll be sitting down very quickly and ensuring that will happen.”
United and Rooney may have endured a disappointing three campaigns, finishing no higher than fourth under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal. However, there is a real belief that, under Jose Mourinho, the glory days could soon be returning to the Theatre of Dreams.
Rooney believes this is United of old
That belief is shared by Rooney who insists that this side are as good as the team he won five Premier Leagues with under Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I think the players feel this is more like the old Manchester United,” he told the Daily Mail.
“We're in a very good spot now, we think we can challenge for the Premier League, and we want to put a marker down, in the Community Shield with Leicester.”
He may be celebrating his testimonial on Wednesday, but Rooney looks set to be staying at Manchester United for many years to come.
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