David Moyes has set Wayne Rooney a 30 goal target for this season and indicated that he has no intention of using Rooney as a makeshift midfielder.
The 27-year-old was used as a midfielder for the last few games of Sir Alex Ferguson‘s reign in order to get some game time and didn’t impress with some performances such as against West Ham showcasing how poor he was in the role.
Rooney has always reiterated that he would be happy to drop deep if he lost his sharpness but many fans thought that he should still be played up front to play to his strengths.
And when asked by The Guardian’s Jamie Jackson whether he would use Rooney in a midfield role, Moyes said he had no intention of dropping Rooney back there this season. He said: “Not just now. I can only see Wayne playing up top and playing as a forward for us.
“He has scored a lot of goals. It was down last year. But to be successful you need to have people who can score you 20 goals.
“I am hoping with Robin and Wayne you have two there who you would say they have it in them to do that. It was also good for us that Robin scored. A good start.”
Rooney got his first goal of the season against Crystal Palace on Saturday and looked like he enjoyed his football, something he hasn’t for a long time at United so it was good to see.
With Kagawa in the side, United don’t need Rooney playing in the #10 role so Moyes is certainly right to have him play further up the pitch again, especially given that best seasons have come when he has been United’s out and out striker.
If Moyes can get Rooney and Robin van Persie working in unison, United will arguably have one of the most devastating strike partnerships in Europe. It was a real success for Moyes that he kept Rooney at the club but now the real challenge is making him play like the Rooney of old, a task that could be altogether more difficult.