Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is ready to assume more leadership responsibilities after his stunning start to the season.
So far, Rooney has scored eight goals in the Premier League, and Sir Alex now believes the time is right for the England international to assume a leadership role within a young Manchester United side.
Sir Alex told United Review: "He is playing with a zest and energy that has taken him to new heights.
"Energy burns in him. But there is also a maturity to his football now that is of tremendous benefit to the team.
"Wayne is ready now to take his career up a further notch and become a leader himself.
"He has already put a marker down on a personal level but now he can assume greater responsibility, and I see his colleagues responding."
At the same time, Sir Alex says he is not getting carried away after Manchester United’s highly impressive start to the season, but he feels that they have laid the foundations for another successful season.
He added: "It is breaking new ground for me, and to say that at this stage of a fairly lengthy career is really something.
"I am excited. And why not? Because we have been privy to something rather special.
"Of course, you can't help wondering if it is going to last and after a lifetime in the game, football has taught me that there is often a banana skin around the corner.
"But while accepting that our present form is exceptional, I can't help but feel that this season is going to be good for Manchester United."
Manchester United now face Chelsea today in an early indicator of both sides’ title ambitions.