Everton wonderkid implies that he did not want to do a Rooney

Ross Barkley recently signed a big contract extension as he was careful to not follow the career path of Manchester United superstar.

A dozen years ago Wayne Rooney was one of the hottest prospects in world football, an Everton teenager with a market valuation of up to £30 million (£45 million by today's standards if taking into account 12 years worth of inflation) and a player who was not only destined for the England national football team but also, seemingly, Manchester United.

In the past six months it appeared history could repeat itself as the Toffees possess another precociously-talented forward in Ross Barkley and, again, he is a player heading into the World Cup squad and a player on the shortlist of targets for United.

Barkley, 20, was careful not to do a Rooney, though.

The wonderkid, who yesterday signed a new four year contract worth £65,000 per week, said that he remembered the day when Rooney left Goodison Park and he did not want fans to go experience once again what they went through when their last elite-level academy graduate transferred away from the club.

"I knew what it meant to me when Rooney left," said Barkley, as quoted by Evening Standard. "He was one of the better players and I thought Everton could have pushed on at the time.

"When he left we were all down and I know how the fans felt so I wanted to sign [a new contract] and push on."

He continued: "We have to keep good players at the club and we've done that with Bainesy [Leighton Baines] signing a new contract, Seamus [Coleman] and a few others. It is stability and it shows we want to push on and don't want to stand still.

"I've played for Everton most of my life. I see it as my home. This is a big thing for me.

"This is the club that I love."

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