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Sheffield Utd star Baxter: Why I rejected Everton contract

Sheffield United star Jose Baxter has explained why he left Everton.

Baxter is sure to start in the FA Cup semifinal against Hull City.

"I nearly dropped the paper when I read that Ray Hall at Everton thought I was better at 16 than (Wayne) Rooney," he told the Daily Mail. "Ray was academy director so must have seen something, but I never thought I was in that bracket. I mean, Rooney was scoring hat-tricks for Manchester United at the time. I wasn't at that level.

"But, like Wayne, I got into Everton's first team at 16. I was the youngest ever to do it (16 years 191 days), and I genuinely thought that was my stage. I was there for good, no-one was going to shift me.

"But Everton are massive and the next thing I knew, they were spending £15million on Marouane Fellaini. Mikel Arteta was already there, then Louis Saha arrived - all attacking players who were going to push me down the pecking order.

"I was just coming to terms with that when David Moyes called me into his office, told me the club were offering me a new two-year deal and that I should go away and enjoy my summer then sign it. But I knew I wasn't going to. I wanted to be playing."

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