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Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
Rooney's 'legend' tribute
Everton's Wayne Rooney has won rave reviews

Everton's David Unsworth claims teenage starlet Wayne Rooney is on course to be a Goodison Park legend - even before his Premiership bow.

Rooney, still only 16, has lit up Everton's pre-season preparations with eight goals in nine games, and boss David Moyes may give him his debut in Saturday's opener against Spurs.


This kid's going to be a legend - and if he stays around long enough he will be THE legend at this club
Everton's David Unsworth on Wayne Rooney

Everton insiders have already labelled the England youth team striker as the finest talent ever produced by the club.

And experienced defender Unsworth refuses to hide his exhiliration about the potential of the powerful youngster.

Unsworth said: "You try not to build him up but you have no choice - he is ready for Everton's first team and more.

"He is something special and I think he is going to take the Premiership by storm. In fact I don't think he will, I know he will.

"This kid's going to be a legend - and if he stays around long enough he will be THE legend at this club.

"He has got everything going for him. He has got a great physique - he has got the lot already and he'll only get better."

Unsworth added: "Wayne is all about raw pace and raw power. He has got an eye for goal and is direct and strong.

"He's good in the air and has a got a nasty streak, which I like. He will have to keep that in check, but there are experienced players in the side who will look after him when the need arises.

"All the best players have that side to them, and he has already got it at 16. He can look after himself.

"Of course he will have to deal with Premiership defenders, and as a young lad he will go through spell where things are not going for him, but I have got no doubt we have got a fantastic talent on our hands here.

"It is like us signing a new player with Wayne coming through. It's a fantastic thing for the club to have a young Evertonian like him ready come through and make his mark."

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