When was Wayne Rooney’s Premier League Debut?

The Liverpool, England, native was born on October 24, 1985. Wayne Rooney played professional football for the England national team. His career as a Manchester United player in the English Premier League created a sensation on the international soccer stage.

Wayne Rooney’s Premier League Debut

He made his professional debut with his local club Everton on August 17, 2002, when he was 16 years old. During his first season, he set the record for the youngest goalscorer in the Premier League (since surpassed). His time with Everton ended in 2004 when he transferred to Manchester United.

With Manchester, the brash teenage striker immediately established himself as one of the country’s most popular footballers. At each of his first two seasons in Manchester, Rooney was voted England’s Young Player of the Year. In 2006–07, he was instrumental in United winning the Premier League and the Carling Cup.

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Wayne Rooney's Premier League Debut
Wayne Rooney’s Premier League Debut (image source: Getty Images)

In the 2007–08 season, he was a significant contributor to United’s Premier League and Champions League victories. This was followed by the team’s first FIFA Club World Cup title, with Rooney scoring the lone goal in United’s 1–0 victory in the final.

He scored 253 goals in all competitions for United, making him the club’s all-time greatest scorer. With 183 Premier League goals, he is just Sergio Agüero’s second-highest scorer for a single club (184 goals for Manchester City). With 208 goals, Rooney is the second-highest Premier League goalscorer in history. He is the third-highest assist generator in the Premier League, with 103.

Wayne Rooney’s career at Everton

Wayne Rooney’s Premier League Debut
Wayne Rooney’s Premier League Debut (image source: Getty Images)

For Everton’s under-10s and under-11s, he scored 114 goals in 29 games during 1995-1996. In 2002, his eight goals in eight games helped the Everton youth team to the FA Youth Cup Final. When Rooney joined Everton’s first-team squad, he scored his first goal for the club in a 3–1 friendly victory over SC Weiz.

He started and assisted Mark Pembridge’s first goal in a 2–2 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur on 17 August. In Everton’s history, he is the second-youngest player in the first team, behind Joe Royle. Against Wrexham in the second round of the League Cup, he scored twice as he scored his first senior goal on 2 October. The goals Rooney scored after these were the youngest Everton goals at the time.

On October 19, five days before his 17th birthday, Rooney scored a last-minute winner against Arsenal. With the goal, Rooney became the Premier League’s youngest goalscorer, snapping Arsenal’s 30-match unbeaten record. Rooney’s record has since been surpassed by James Milner and James Vaughan.

Wayne Rooney’s career at England

Wayne Rooney’s Premier League Debut
Wayne Rooney’s Premier League Debut (image source: BBC Sports)

At 17, Rooney became England’s youngest ever goalscorer when he made his senior international debut in February 2003. He played in UEFA Euro 2004 and scored four goals, momentarily becoming the European Championship’s youngest goalscorer. Rooney went on to participate in the World Cups in 2006, 2010, and 2014 and was largely recognized as his country’s top player. 

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