Everton Team Against Man Utd Means Club Have Played an Academy Graduate in 1000 Consecutive Games
Everton's team selection against Manchester United means the club have now played an academy graduate in 1,000 consecutive competitive games.
Tom Davies and Wayne Rooney both came through the youth ranks, and start at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The last time Everton did not select an academy graduate in the squad was in October 1995, in an away game at Bolton.
Since then, the Toffees have without fail included one in the 18-man squad for every competitive game, an impressively consistent record.
It is a demonstration of the success of the club's youth academy, and not many clubs boast a similar record.
Amongst their Premier League rivals, Brighton and Hove Albion’s last game without an academy player was 2016, while Bournemouth and Huddersfield's was only earlier this year.
Everton travel to United with one of their academy players at the centre of attention. Rooney returns to Old Trafford for the first time, and manager Ronald Koeman has spoken of the forward's significance in the club's history.
"He made a big contribution for Man United. At that time they had a lot of good players like Giggs. The quality in that team was incredible and he was part of that," said Koeman.
"He was English, he was young, he was scoring goals, he was a creative player and with more experience he was also important for the team and for the dressing room.
"Finally he chose Everton because he thought he didn't get enough game time and came back home and that is what happened to Wayne. Still, he is that player."