Some 12 years ago, Manchester United splashed the cash on a precocious young English talent at Everton that would play a huge part in their future success.
Now, the former Premier League champions are aiming to repeat the trick with Ross Barkley lined up to follow in the footsteps of Wayne Rooney this summer.
At least that’s according to the latest transfer reports this weekend, which suggest the Red Devils are readying a whopping bid of £45m for the Toffees midfielder.
Hype surrounding the Wavertree youngster may not quite be at the level that Rooney experienced as a teenager all those years ago, but there’s a significant level of expectation on Barkley’s shoulders nonetheless.
Four years older than Rooney was when he switched to Old Trafford, Barkley would be costing United £17.5m more should be follow the England captain’s path.
That lofty price tag, along with natural comparisons to the former Toffees teen star, would heap a significant amount of pressure onto the 22-year-old’s shoulders from the outset.
Obviously, Rooney arrived at Man United as a striker and has occupied that position for a vast majority of his Old Trafford career.
It is only with his advancing years that the Red Devils skipper has been used as an attacking midfielder, so any comparisons of goal tallies between him and natural-number-10 Barkley would be unfair.
With United scrapping for a European place in the Premier League this term, theories that Louis van Gaal, or whoever replaces him in the dugout, will once again splash the cash to return the Red Devils to the top of the league are widespread.
If the club really do have their heart set on Barkley, then they’ll get an up-close view of his potential when facing Everton on Sunday afternoon. Ladbrokes make the England midfielder 9/1 to score the first goal of the game.
A space among the top four for United hasn’t been completely ruled out by the bookmaker either, giving them a small chance of crashing that party at 2/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.