Wayne Rooney full of praise for Irish youngster following man of the match performance

Rooney was delighted with the youngster’s performance.

Wayne Rooney said that Festy Ebosele was “the best player on the pitch by far” after Derby County beat Salford City in the Carabao Cup first round.

The Rams played out a 3-3 draw with the League 2 side before beating them 5-3 on penalties to progress to the next round.

Rooney handed former Bray Wanderers player Ebosele his first senior start and he was repaid by a man-of-the-match performance from the 19-year-old, while fellow Ireland under-21 international Louie Watson converted the winning penalty.

Festy Ebosele shines in live TV game.

Not fazed by the game being broadcast live on Sky Sports, Ebosele impressed with a number of surging runs down the right wing, one of which resulted in a penalty after he was tripped by Josh Lowe in the 70th minute.

This allowed Colin Kazim-Richards to make the score 2-2 and each side would score another before full-time, with Derby’s third coming via a sweet long-range strike from ex-Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison.

Afterwards, Rooney said that Ebosele was the “best player on the pitch by far,” and also reserved praise for his other young full-back Dylan Williams.

Wayne Rooney is a big fan of Festy Ebosele.

The ex-England captain praised both players last week following a pre-season victory over Notts County, saying: “Festy and Dylan, our full-backs, were very good” and it looks like more opportunities could await for Rooney’s young charges, with his squad decimated by a summer transfer ban.

Wexford native Ebosele played youth football for St. Joseph’s Boys in Dublin before being picked up by Bray Wanderers.

He moved to Derby in 2018 and made his league debut as a sub in a 1-0 defeat to Norwich City in April of this year.

Wayne Rooney on what Festy Ebosele needs to improve.

The attacking threat that Ebosele displayed last night is something that Rooney expects to see more of but there is room for improvement in his defensive work, according to the ex-Man United forward.

“He has played right-back for the last few years now but I just think with his electric pace and power he frightens defenders when he runs at them,” Rooney said earlier this month.

“He needs to work on his defending, he knows that and we are working hard with him to do that and be in the right positions.

“He is a player we have to do a lot of work with, and we will because if we get that right he could be a very good player.”

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