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Roy Hodgson: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney is at his best up front

by Ben Topliss

England manager Roy Hodgson believes Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney is best employed up front and not in midfield.

Rooney has taken up a position in the middle of the park in recent months under the guidance of Louis van Gaal and has not scored since Boxing Day.

It is an unusual choice given the 29-year-old is the third highest goal-scorer in Man United’s history. Rooney is also just four goals away from becoming England’s all-time leading scorer and Hodgson says he has no plans to put him in midfield anytime soon.

Speaking about Rooney’s position, Hodgson said: ”At the moment I don’t necessarily think (central midfield) will be his best position for us and I don’t have any immediate plans to play him there. But who knows? I will never say never.

“He’s a goalscorer, isn’t he? One always likes to see one’s goal-scorers in positions where they can get into the box and in and around the box.

“He’s our top goal-scorer in the qualifiers, he’s just a couple of goals (four) away now from being England’s leading goalscorer, so I hope he will continue to score goals for us.”

Rooney is yet to record a shot on target in the league in 2015 and his midfield role has been a source of frustration for United fans.

Van Gaal’s decision to put Rooney there may be negatively affecting the team’s style of play but it is certainly not affecting results. With one loss in 18 games, it appears fans may have to get used to seeing him in midfield a while longer.

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