Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has revealed that he expects to be deployed in a midfield role for his club next season.
The 30-year-old has long been touted to develop into a midfielder as his career has gone on, with his pace and stamina being brought into question when playing as a lone striker for United this season.
Fresh from scoring and providing an assist in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Tuesday night, Rooney has conceded that although it may not be an immediate transition at international level, he is fairly certain that he will be turning out as a midfielder for United next season.
“I think sometimes you have to make choices in your career, and at the minute it is probably better for me to play deeper,” he said on the club’s official website.
“Now obviously it is a bit different with England, still being a striker for England, but certainly after that [Euro 2016], for next season, that [midfield] is probably where I see myself playing.”
Rooney went on to concede that United’s fifth-place finish this season was disappointing, and he will naturally be desperate to see the situation improve as of next year while the Red Devils have the opportunity to end their wait for a trophy when they take on Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final this weekend.
However, for a club with their history and ambition, that simply isn’t enough and so the pressure will be on the manager, players and all concerned this summer to ensure that big strides are made in the right direction.
As for Rooney’s new role, it makes perfect sense in the latter stages of his career, as although his lack of pace and movement has been brought into question, his vision, range of passing and footballing brain all suggest he can be a huge success in the middle of the pitch.