David Moyes believes Wayne Rooney is setting the standard for Manchester United.
For most of the summer it seemed certain Rooney would be heading out of Old Trafford.
In the end, United's hierarchy stood firm and their new manager has worked wonders in getting Rooney focused after all the uncertainty.
And that has proved to be a masterstroke given Rooney has been United's key man this term as Robin van Persie's contribution faltered.
"What Wayne is doing is making the others play well because he is playing well," said Moyes.
"He has turned himself into a real team player.
"With the assists for the team and the goals, his all-round contribution has been fantastic."
Just as important as the work Rooney has put in on the pitch, Moyes has detected a desire to assume more responsibility off it.
Less than 12 months short of his 10th anniversary as a United player, with Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand playing a much reduced role these days and with Darren Fletcher only just back from major injury, Rooney is effectively the elder statesman in the Red Devils dressing room.
And with the status has come a willingness to pass on crucial guidance to the present crop of youngsters.
"He needs to show the young players," said Moyes.
"You go through the years and look at people like Ryan Giggs and the advice he gave to Wayne Rooney. Wayne has now to give it to Adnan Januzaj and the new players coming up.
"He has a big responsibility to show the next generation the standards that Manchester United set and what you have to do every week if you are going to play for this club."
Rooney will be a key figure at Hull on Boxing Day, when United look to extend their winning run to five matches, which would be the most they have managed under Moyes so far.
Marouane Fellaini will not be involved though, with Moyes confirming his £27.5million summer signing will be out for up to six weeks following wrist surgery.
It represents another negative in a disappointing start to his United career for the Belgium star, although Moyes insists Fellaini will come good.
"I have no doubt he will eventually be a good player for us," said Moyes.
"He has been unlucky. He has not felt 100 per cent because of his wrist and has been finding it difficult.
"I asked him to see if he could get over the Christmas period. He got the back injury against Everton and since then he has never really been right."
- More about:
- Darren Fletcher
- Manchester United
- Premier League
- Rio Ferdinand
- Robin Van Persie
- Ryan Giggs
- Stephen Carter
- Wayne Rooney
- Young People