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03rd Aug 2016

Wayne Rooney is the best player to ever grace the Premier League, according to his boyhood hero

Bold claim

Darragh Murphy

With the talent that has passed through the Premier League, a decision on the greatest ever is always going to inspire lively debate.

Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Patrick Vieira, Paul Scholes… the list goes on and on.

Wayne Rooney definitely features on that list but there are not many football fans who would place him at the very top when you consider the lofty competition above.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

But, on the day of his testimonial match, Rooney’s childhood hero and former Everton teammate (Big) Duncan Ferguson has claimed that the Manchester United forward is the best player to have stepped foot on a Premier League pitch.

“Wayne Rooney is a lovely man, a family man,” Ferguson told the Mirror. “He’s a totally trustworthy man, a great professional and, for me, he’s been the best player we’ve ever had in the Premier League.”

Ferguson played with Rooney when he made his career breakthrough at Goodison Park and the former Scotland international claims he knew from the get-go that the Toffees had a special talent on their hands.

“I stayed behind after training one day to have a look,” Ferguson added. “Wayne was a substitute and came on and within 10 minutes he had scored two goals.

Everton v Villarreal - Pre Season Friendly

“I knew straight away there was something special about him. He had a great desire to get on the ball, he had great feet and he could finish.

“He also had the physicality and, of course, the talent. He was also fast and powerful so even at that age you could see he had everything you need to be a top, top player.

“He was the best 16-year-old footballer I had ever seen and still is, by the way. He would just get on the ball and run past people for fun.

“He was a tough kid from a tough area, but with a great sense of community. He had natural toughness and aggression and was made for the big stage.”

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