He might be on the verge of becoming Manchester United’s all-time leading goal scorer, but Wayne Rooney’s future at Old Trafford might be helping to create goals rather than score them.
Rooney starred playing in a deeper role in the FA Cup semi-final match at Wembley and the United captain says that he is finally ready to accept the move back into midfield on a permanent basis — and become Manchester United’s new Paul Scholes.
“I’ve known for a few years, I have played there a few times throughout my career and I can play that position,” he said.
“I have played and watched Paul Scholes play that role for years and I always knew that one day that is where I would play so I have tried to learn and watch what he did.
“It is still early days but hopefully if I keep playing there I can develop and get better.
“I think if I can do that I can free other players up.
“Obviously it is down to the manager. It is his decision — and for the team, more importantly, it is the right thing to do at this moment in time.
“We have got a lot of pace in the team now and I think I can read the game quite well and whether to go forward or stay deeper and leave the space for the other lads.”
When asked if he could do it for England, Rooney added:
“I don’t know, that is a decision for Roy Hodgson.
Remember when in Fergie’s final years as manager he and Rooney fell out because Fergie could see that Rooney was losing that little bit of pace that had made him such a good striker and wanted to move him back into midfield? Rooney was adamant that he could still play as a striker, but three seasons later he is finally ready to see that his former manager was right.
What do you think about Rooney playing in the Scholes role? Spraying balls all over Old Trafford to the younger, faster forwards that that United now have? Is he the missing piece in United’s midfield?