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Micah Richards and Alan Shearer have both named Wayne Rooney as the greatest teenage player in Premier League history.
The Match of the Day pundits have each selected a list of their top ten teenage stars, with former Everton and Manchester United striker Rooney topping both.
Rooney scored 42 goals for his clubs before he turned 20, and became the most expensive teenager in history when he joined United from Everton for £26m in 2004.
"He embodied bursting onto the scene," said Richards on the Match of the Day Top 10 podcast.
"He changed everything."
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker added: "He was so good, so competitive, his whole game was amazing.
"I even thought perhaps he worked too hard, running back and chasing defenders. That might be why he got the injuries he did."
Time to talk about bursting on to the scene! 💥@MicahRichards and @AlanShearer have made their picks for #MOTDTop10 Premier League teenagers.— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) December 8, 2021
Agree with their selections? 🤔 Give us yours ➡️ #bbcfootball
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Richards named former Arsenal forward Nicolas Anelka second on his list, while Shearer picked Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler.
Both named another former Liverpool striker, Michael Owen, as third.
Rooney’s former Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo also featured on both lists, coming fourth in Shearer’s selections and ninth in Richards’.
Explaining his decision to select Ronaldo so low, Richards added: "When he first came, he was a little bit of a showpony.
"There were too many flicks and tricks at that stage but he's gone on to absolute greatness."
Manchester City’s Phil Foden is the youngest player to feature on the lists, with the England international coming eighth on Richards’ and ninth on Shearer’s.
Meanwhile, Richards – the youngest defender ever called up by England – had no problem with naming himself as the sixth greatest teenager in Premier League history.
"At that age I was unstoppable - I was ridiculous! I'd have backed myself against anyone and the media were saying they'd never seen talent like it," added the former Manchester City defender.
"I should have done a lot more with my career."
Alan Shearer’s top ten: 1. Wayne Rooney, 2. Robbie Fowler, 3. Michael Owen, 4. Cristiano Ronaldo, 5. Cesc Fabregas, 6. Nicolas Anelka, 7. Rio Ferdinand, 8. Joe Cole, 9. Phil Foden, 10. Micah Richards
Micah Richards’ top ten: 1. Wayne Rooney, 2. Nicolas Anelka, 3. Michael Owen, 4. Robbie Fowler, 5. Cesc Fabregas, 6. Micah Richards, 7. Rio Ferdinand, 8. Phil Foden, 9. Cristiano Ronaldo, 10. Joe Cole
Do you agree with their selections? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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