Last season, Wayne Rooney became a makeshift midfielder in the midst of a United injury crisis and put in some good performances.
Few fans would want to see him play there on a regular basis because of how potent he is up front but speaking to the Daily Mail, Rooney has admitted that he relished the chance to be the central playmaker and can see himself being it on a permanent basis later in his career.
He said: “I did my bit dropping into a central midfield role when the team got hit by injuries last season.
“The manager thinks I can do a job there and, with the likes of Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher all missing games, he asked me to help out.
“I get more of the ball, I’m involved loads and, after one game, I even think about playing there permanently, but only later in my career.” Wayne Rooney
“When I get stuck into the action as a central playmaker, I love it.”
Wayne Rooney‘s struggle to maintain match fitness is well publicised. With a game based on power, energy and intensity, it is all but guaranteed to have a shorter life span than most and considering he has been playing professionally since he was 16, that time may be coming sooner rather than later.
He continued: “Why? Well, in midfield I don’t have to be as sharp as a forward. Once I feel that I haven’t got the sharpness needed to get away from defenders, I’ll probably drop back into midfield for a couple of seasons so I can still influence the game.
“In my heart I’d prefer it if I was playing up front, because I can still do a lot of damage, but the sacrifices don’t bother me.”
With Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez all vying Rooney for his first team spot when he returns from injury, it is fair to say that he has a fight to work his way back into the starting line-up.
Maybe becoming a midfielder is his way of staying integral to the United team. While I don’t think we will see him there for a few seasons, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him playing in the midfield again at some point this year.