Danny Higginbotham believes that Wayne Rooney’s future for Manchester United and England is in midfield.
The 30-year-old put in an excellent performance there in the 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Everton last time out and Higginbotham, who played for Man United between 1997 and 2000, backed Rooney to make the midfield role his own.
“It was the right call, and Rooney excelled, as I thought he would. And I am confident that he will flourish in that role in the final years of his career.
“He does not have the pace he used to, opposition defences will push up, not worried about being caught in behind.
“This squeezes United’s playing area. What van Gaal did with three of the front four in Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard. They are all so quick that defenders are terrified of them chasing on to the ball over the top or the ball down the sides.”
Rooney is an excellent footballer on a technical level but there was a question mark over whether his discipline and short passing would be of the level needed to flourish in midfield.
He is certainly answering all the questions asked of him so far and it is not too far fetched to imagine him playing in the middle of the park for years to come.
Rooney, who is closing in on Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goalscoring record at United, has proven over the course of his career at Old Trafford that he is more than willing to put the needs of the team above his own and Louis van Gaal will know that he can count on him to do a job wherever he is asked as the campaign comes to a close.