SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON sought David Beckham's blessing for his decision to make Wayne Rooney the youngest full international in England's history, it emerged last night.

The England coach asked captain Beckham for advice on how 17-year-old Rooney had settled into his new surroundings before naming him in the starting line-up ahead of Emile Heskey.

Beckham revealed: "The manager asked me what Wayne was like around the hotel and how he seemed in training.

"I told him he'd been great in training and great around the hotel.

"I didn't think it was a gamble picking him from the start because I thought he was a player that was able to play at that level.

"I was asked last week whether Wayne was ready for this arena, but he doesn't need me to answer that question now; he did it against Turkey.

"For a 17-year-old, his performance was exceptional.

"He was holding up the ball and turning, and he scared their players."

Rooney left an indelible print of his talent during training on Tuesday, when he scored a sublime goal that brought applause from his teammates.

Goalkeeper David James said: "Wayne was awesome. I don't want to use cheap clichs about him but he was unbelievable.

"He is so awesome in training that it is a joke.

"You look into his eyes and he looks 17, but if you look at him from behind and the way he plays you'd think he was 32.

"He's not trying to be fancy in the way he plays. He does the hard stuff very easily. He scores good goals.

"He does on the pitch in games what he does in training. What a talent."

Rooney goes into Everton's clash with Newcastle United on Sunday, when he will do battle with Alan Shearer, with Steven Gerrard predicting the teenager can be an international regular for more than a decade.

The midfielder said: "Wayne could be special for England for the next 10 to 15 years.

"I've never seen a full debut before as good as that. Everton - and England - have got themselves a diamond.

"He was so full of confidence for a youngster up against an experienced side like Turkey and he caused mayhem.

"He's got good vision, he's big and strong, he can hold the ball up, he can change pace, he's clever for his age and he can score goals."