Manchester United manager David Moyes believes Wayne Rooney is a man reborn.
Rooney celebrates his 28th birthday today having guided United to the brink of a place in the Champions League last 16.
And despite the concerns Alex Ferguson had about the striker last season, Moyes evidently has none.
"I was going to say he was back to the old Wayne Rooney but it might be better to say he is the new Wayne Rooney," said Moyes.
"He came back in great condition, trained really hard. "I really couldn't explain how hard he has worked. He has been incredible."
It was Rooney's mazy run past three defenders in the second minute and shot that cannoned off the post, struck hapless defender Inigo Martinez on the edge of the six-yard box and bounced in that gave United their 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.
Rooney could afford himself a smile of satisfaction, especially as Ferguson was watching from the Old Trafford stands.
"I haven't seen him since he retired," said Rooney.
"I'm happy under the new manager. The new coach that has come in (has given me) a new lease of life. I'm really enjoying working under David Moyes."
Asked if he would respond to Ferguson's comments, Rooney said: "No, I'm happy playing football. That's the past, I'm looking to the future."
Moyes is equally delighted, although he wants to look at Rooney's birth certificate.
"Is he 28?" said the Scot. "I thought he was a lot older that that."
Just as against Southampton last Saturday, United did waste a number of opportunities to make the victory more comfortable. It is a failing their manager knows has to be addressed.
"I still had the feeling of Saturday left inside me and while it was 1-0, you know you can always lose a goal at a corner or free kick," said Moyes.
"We do need to get more ruthless.
"It is okay saying we are unlucky but the job is to score and get them in the net. It's not just falling to one person. We all have to take responsibility. We have got to score more.
"It will make my job easier and for the players as well.
"We would be able to relax and play without that same anxiety."
Meanwhile, Moyes also confirmed Robin van Persie could be fit for Saturday's Premier League encounter with Stoke after sitting out the encounter.
"He had a couple of niggling injuries even before he went on international duty and they have all just caught up on him a bit," said Moyes.
"I thought if I had a chance to give him a breather I would and fortunately for us it worked out fine."