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Featured Image Credit: Image: Sky Sports & PA
As Everton prepare to host Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday night, footage has resurfaced of former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger hailing Wayne Rooney as "the biggest English talent" he has ever witnessed.
Wenger's comments came back in 2002 after Rooney announced himself to the world with a dramatic late winner against Premier League champions Arsenal at the age of just 16.
With the league match at Goodison Park level at 1-1 heading into the closing stages, Rooney expertly controlled a lobbed through ball before sending a thunderous shot over Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman.
The goal ended Arsenal's 30-match unbeaten run and made Rooney the youngest ever goalscorer in the Premier League at the time.
The strike prompted commentator Clive Tyldesley to utter the prophetic phrase, "Remember the name... Wayne Rooney!".
Speaking after the match, Wenger lavished praise on Rooney and predicted big things for the young striker from Croxteth.
"It's a special goal and a special talent. The biggest English talent I've seen since I've been in England, by far," said Wenger.
"He has everything what you can dream to have. Intelligent, quick reactions, good at running with the ball, moving forward quickly and of course he is very accurate in front of goal.
"I hope he will not be injured now in the next two or three years and mentally he will be able to cope with what's happening with him. He is a huge talent."
When asked if Everton would be able to keep hold of the striker, Wenger added: "It is too early to say. I'm just giving a frank opinion of what I feel.
"I think he is too young to move now anyway. First he has to prove at Everton how far he can go. He has time in front of him to see first, step by step.
"To keep his feet on earth, that is the most important thing you can wish."
Rooney would go on to score 17 goals for Everton before moving to Manchester United in 2004.
He would enjoy a hugely successful 13-year spell at Old Trafford, winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2007-08.
The striker would later return to Everton in 2017 before spells at DC United and Derby County, where is now manager.
Rooney remains United's all-time leading goalscorer with 253 goals in 559 games, and is also England's all-time top scorer with 53 goals.
Safe to say, Wenger was right to predict big things!