Everton academy boss Ray Hall admits they always knew Jack Rodwell was capable of big things.
The Liverpool Daily Post says he may not have been aware of it, but a host of Premiership clubs had been monitoring Rodwell’s situation – Manchester United and Manchester City were rumoured to be those keen to recruit the youngster.
Hall revealed: “One of our local scouts brought Jack in while he was playing for either Farnborough Road Junior School or Birkdale United when he was about six or seven-years-old.
“The boys come in and we work with them before offering them a registration when they’re nine-years-old.
“If you look at the length of time Jack had been here, 10 years had gone by before he made his debut.
“The local scouts were quite excited when they brought him in because athletically, he was miles ahead of everyone and was a bit taller than the other lads his age.
“By the time Jack was 13 we started to realise that if he kept developing, he could be at Everton Football Club for a very long time.”