David Moyes believes Everton can keep their brilliant young guns Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling out of the clutches of the big boys.
The Everton manager insists his club are in a much stronger position than when they sold Wayne Rooney to Manchester United back in 2004. Moyes was brought down to earth after his side's high-flying 3-1 win against United at Goodison when he arrived at Manchester Airport to find his flight to Europe where he was due to take in a game cancelled owing to weather problems.
Rodwell, 18, and Gosling, 20, both scored against United after coming on as substitutes and Moyes said: "They don't let you down. They came in and both of them got a good goal. There's been quite a lot of attention towards Jack Rodwell for a while. But strangely enough, it was Wayne that worried me a lot more. It doesn't worry me quite so much with Jack because we've been through it before."
He added: "I don't think we were quite ready for Wayne when Wayne came on the scene but we're certainly ready for Jack Rodwell and our team is good enough to carry a Jack Rodwell and keep him and keep bigger suitors away.
"The boy is going to be a good player in time but at this present time it's potential and we have to bring it along at the right pace."
Moyes, speaking to BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme, believes the current Everton set-up would have been able to keep Rooney.
"If Wayne was at Everton now I think it would be completely different," said Moyes.
"We're competing within Europe, we're trying to beat the top teams, we're at that end of the league.
"At the time Wayne came on the scene we were fifth or sixth off the bottom so it was a completely different Everton then to what it is now."