Gary Pallister: Wayne Rooney’s midfield role has been like a new signing for Manchester United

by Tanveer Arayan

Gary Pallister believes that Wayne Rooney’s emergence in midfield for Manchester United in recent weeks has been like a new signing for the club.

Rooney has been used in the middle of the park by Louis van Gaal recently due to the excellent form of Marcus Rashford up top.

The 30-year-old was particularly impressive at Wembley in Man United’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Everton last month. Pallister, who played for United between 1989 and 1998, singled out Rooney for praise.

“Having him in midfield is almost like a new signing for United,” Pallister said.

“He’s got the positioning, he can score goals and he’s intelligent. It’s early days but he’s really getting accustomed to that role.”

Pallister also praised the impact that United’s young players – Rashford in particular – have made at Old Trafford this season.

“One of the big things this season has been the way youth has come into the team. Marcus Rashford has been like a breath of fresh air. I came to Old Trafford at the age of 24 and I’d already played for England. Still, Old Trafford can be daunting,” he added.

“He’s come in and looks like he’s been playing there for years – and he’s only 18.”

Rooney has enjoyed a superb career at United but his powers were always going to fade eventually and his new role in midfield seems to suit him.

There is a question mark over whether his defensive discipline will be of the level needed against the better sides but he is certainly proving his doubters wrong for now.

In any case, his leadership and experience has proven to be a shining light for the youngsters coming through at the club.

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