Ex-Everton prodigy Wayne Rooney has formed part of a nucleus of surprise debate following Manchester City’s announcement that club legend Sergio Aguero would be leaving the club at the end of the season.

The announcement of the departure sparked a furore over opinions as to who qualifies in the list of the top handful of strikers the Premier League has ever seen.

Darren Bent was one such pundit who went viral for his claims on talkSPORT, controversially excluding Aguero from his list of the top five strikers of all time to have played in the league.

His exclusion of Aguero was due to the preference for the likes of Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and the ex-Everton man Rooney among others.

“For me, Thierry Henry is the best,” before listing “Henry, Drogba, Wright, Rooney & Shearer” as his top picks.

As for Aguero, he was not reserved the same glowing endorsement.

“Aguero isn’t in the same bracket”, claimed the pundit.

Rooney broke through into Everton in the early 2000s before commanding an eye-watering move to Manchester United in 2004 worth £33.3 million.

He returned on a free transfer in his senior years in the 2017-18 season for a second spell that was ultimately short-lived, following a free transfer to MLS side D.C. United in the subsequent summer.

He scored 28 goals and notched up a further 4 assists as a Toffee in 117 appearences in his two spells, but the former wonderkid is perhaps best known for his spell at Manchester United.

Read Everton Verdict

With a grand total of 313 career goals, coming mostly in the Premier League, Rooney is nonetheless a fine legacy of Everton’s youth development.

Put simply, he has to be considered a world-class player in his day and it is virtually a formality that Bent opted to put him ahead of others in his list.