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Peter Schmeichel: Wayne Rooney can develop into a midfielder like Paul Scholes

by Sam Peoples

Peter Schmeichel believes Wayne Rooney’s long-term future at Manchester United could be in midfield.

Rooney is closing in on Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record for Man United having achieved the accolade for England earlier this term.

However, Schmeichel, who won a number of trophies with United during his playing days, insisted that Rooney is capable of playing in a deeper role.

“Wayne can play in different positions. If you ask him, he wants to play in the No.10 position, but I’d like to see Wayne develop into a midfield player because he can play a little bit like Paul Scholes did. I am sure he can develop the engine to play in midfield,” Schmeichel said.

“His vision and the way he sees football is really beneficial to the way that Manchester United should play. He can play the long passes that we’ve seen [Morgan] Schneiderlin pass, but he can also play the little balls, as we’ve seen so many times when he has been asked to play in other positions. He can tackle, he can win the ball back and he can defend. But Wayne has to want to play in that position.”

Rooney has played in midfield before, with moderate success, but there is a sense that his short passing, touch and discipline would let him down against the better sides.

The 30-year-old has been superb for United over the course of his career but he may have to accept that his place in the starting XI for club and country is now in doubt. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are in excellent form at Old Trafford and Rooney has struggled in the past 18 months or so.

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