Ten years after the England star fired himself onto the scene with a strike against Arsenal, his former boss has revealed he was so good he barely even needed trainingEverton manager David Moyes has heaped praise on former pupil Wayne Rooney a decade on from his stunning debut goal for the club.
The England striker burst onto the scene for the Toffees as a 16-year-old against Arsenal, smashing a long-range strike past David Seaman to end the Gunners' 30-match unbeaten run.
The forward went on to net 16 times in 77 games for the Merseyside outfit, before securing a £20 million move to Manchester United in 2004.
And 10 years on from Rooney's famous debut for the Blues, Moyes has insisted the Three Lions man was always destined for a big future.
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"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."
Although Rooney's talent is undisputed, his discipline has been questioned many times, with his first red card coming not long after he opened his account for Everton.
The Scot referred to the Red Devils' striker's street football background as a reason behind his mentality, but claimed he was was always a joy to work with.
"All he wanted to do was get the ball," he added. "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."