Interesting story by Dave Kidd in the Mirror, that new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will try Wayne Rooney in a deep-lying midfield role during the teams USA tour next month.
According to Kidd, And after consulting the Ryan Giggs on the issue, LVG is looking for ways to play Robin van Persie, Juan Mata and Rooney together.
The Dutch striker is sure to be United’s first-choice No.9, with Mata likely to start in his preferred No.10 role, behind the main striker.
That leaves the big question of where to play the £300,000-a-week Rooney? Van Gaal does not want to repeat England boss Roy Hodgson’s mistake of playing Rooney in a wide role, especially as Rooney is not keen on the role.
The only option, other than going with two forwards, is to play Rooney is a central midfield role, a position that LVG thinks suits the England striker who has a good range of passing and the ability to win the ball back.
The irony of the move is that former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson always believed that Rooney had a future in central midfield, but Rooney has never embraced the role, preferring to play up-front where he thinks he is best suited.
There is some irony here in that a year ago Rooney’s agent was angling for a way out of Old Trafford, after a difficult final season under Fergie, who had embraced van Persie as the star at the club.
But the arrival of David Moyes changed that dynamic, and Rooney was suddenly the man again, and he signed a new massive five-year contract. With the departure of Nemanja Vidic to Inter, Rooney was expected to be the team’s new captain.
But that has all changed. United have a new Dutch boss, and Van Persie, who is Van Gaal’s national team skipper at the World Cup, is likely to be given the United armband next term. Rooney is back to playing Robin to RVP’s batman and now he is going to be asked to play in midfield. I am not sure how well that will go down in the Rooney camp.
What do you think of Rooney playing in central midfield? Is he the quality midfielder that United need?