Having scored five goals in his last seven appearances, Rooney is United’s most, and only, in-form striker and has been rejuvenated since being moved out of a midfield role he occupied for weeks.
It’s something Rooney was happy to do for van Gaal but although he feels confident enough to play in that role, he knows up front is where he belongs.
“When you play as a centre-forward you want to score goals, so I’m pleased I’m doing that,” Rooney said ahead of England’s game against Lithuania.
“I spoke with the manager and he thought it was better for the team for me to play in midfield. So that’s what I did. I played there.
“I’m sure, in other games, he might put me back in midfield but I’m delighted to be playing up front and scoring. It’s helping us win football matches.
“Midfield is a role I know I can play, but as a centre-forward your job is to try to score goals. Thankfully, I’ve gone back up front and I’m doing that.”
Since moving back up front Rooney has looked like his old self and really led by example, so fans are certainly hoping he won’t be going back near midfield any time soon.
The problem of Rooney being put back in midfield is two pronged. Firstly, it takes away United’s best striker and secondly it would make the midfield worse as one of Ander Herrera, Juan Mata or Michael Carrick would have to be sacrificed.
Van Gaal’s experiment of Rooney in midfield was tested and it failed. Between now and the end of the season would not be the right time to do that again.