Manchester United star Wayne Rooney has revealed that he spent years watching the likes of Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard in preparation for his midfield role.
The 30-year-old has long been touted to make the switch from a forward to midfielder as he enters the latter stages of his career, and it appears to have started positively for him.
Having struggled this past season to lead the United line as his pace and stamina diminishes, it seemingly felt like a natural evolution for him to move into a deeper position on the pitch.
As seen in the first two games at Euro 2016 where Rooney has impressed for England, his ability to combine his work ethic off the ball and vision on it shows that he is certainly ready to play that role moving forward for club and country.
It isn’t a fluke either, as the United ace has now revealed that he spent time watching Scholes and Gerrard closely, looking for tips and ways to adapt and understand the role before taking it up himself.
“It was always going to happen,” he told reporters. “I think I said it when I was about 24 that one day I would go back into midfield and that has happened over the last couple of months.
“I have played with some of the best midfielders England has produced in Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes and I’m not so naive to play with those players and not notice what they were doing, knowing that one day I would be playing in that position.
“I have watched them when playing with them and training with them and I have tried to take bits from each of them and add my own way of playing.”
Although insisting that he isn’t so naive to think that he can’t continue to improve in midfield, Rooney is seemingly relishing the opportunity to be more involved in games and will look to take his form in France into the new Premier League campaign with Jose Mourinho likely to follow suit and keep him in midfield.