Saturday 31 August 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson claimed his club signed the “best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years” after completing the capture of 18-year-old forward Wayne Rooney on the eve of the summer transfer window deadline.
"I think we have got the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years."
Sir Alex Ferguson
Rooney moved to Old Trafford just weeks after announcing himself on the international stage with a string of excellent performances for England in Euro 2004. The striker scored four goals as England progressed to the quarter-finals of the European Championships before a metatarsal injury cut his tournament short.
Previously, Rooney made a memorable Barclays Premier League debut for Everton as a 16-year-old, when he sealed a victory over Arsenal with a curling long-range strike. He went on to score 15 goals in 67 appearances during his first two seasons as a professional for the Toffees.
After his arrival, Ferguson said: “I am very excited. We have got the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years. Everyone is delighted by this signing.”
He made a similarly striking impact in his United debut as a he scored a hat-trick in a 6-2 victory over Fenerbahce in the UEFA Champions League group stages four weeks after his arrival. In his first campaign with the Red Devils, he scored 11 Barclays Premier League goals in 29 appearances.
Rooney has gone on to score over 10 goals and make over 25 appearances in each league campaign for United since, with 141 goals in 280 Barclays Premier League matches.
Overall, he has 156 top-flight goals to his name and he is the sixth-highest scorer in Barclays Premier League history at 27. His spectacular overhead kick against Manchester City in February 2011 was voted the 'Best Goal' in the Premier League's 20 Seasons Awards.
With United, Rooney has won five Barclays Premier League titles, three League Cups, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup so far.