Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s arrival increases competition up front for Man United and Rooney’s ventures as a central midfielder certainly won’t happen under Mourinho, a manager who prefers specialist players in their natural positions.
It’s led to questions from fans over how Rooney would fit into Mourinho’s plans but speaking to BT Sport about the upcoming season, Rooney clarified the situation.
“The new manager has come in and wants me playing as the 10 and closer to goal.
“I have scored goals all through my career so it’s a chance for me to score more goals.
“But he has also given me the freedom to go and get on the ball and link up with the midfield if I want so I am looking forward to it.
“It’s an exciting time for me and an exciting time for Manchester United.”
Out of all the positions, Rooney at No.10 is probably the one which makes most sense, especially if we’ve got Paul Pogba and Morgan Schneiderlin behind him sweeping up. That would allow Rooney to concentrate on attacking, the most natural part of his game.
He doesn’t have the legs to play up front any more and he’s not good enough in central midfield, so it really was a case of No.10 or nothing as far as Rooney is concerned and maybe it will bring the best out of a player who has been pretty poor for the majority of the last five years.
On Wednesday night, Rooney will have his testimonial after 12 years service to United and we all thought he was past his best but maybe Mourinho is the manager who can re-kindle his fire and get Rooney firing on all cylinders in a United shirt once again.