After an impressive performance in the centre of midfield against Crystal Palace during the week, Rooney featured there again in Man United’s 2-1 victory over Everton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
His intelligence and great reading of the game allowed him to exploit the space of those in front of him as he supplied the ball to his team-mates on numerous occasions and speaking about Rooney’s position, van Gaal insisted he could offer more in a deeper role.
“Now Wayne can contribute more for the team in midfield,” he said.
Van Gaal on Rooney: "Now Wayne can contribute more for the team in midfield"
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 23, 2016
Can Rooney emulate Paul Scholes and drop into a deeper, playmaker type role as he moves towards the latter years of his career after he’s lost a bit of his pace? It’s a question fans have debated for a couple of seasons now.
Against Everton, Rooney was superb and especially at the start of the game. His balls over the top created so many opportunities for United and he was equally as impressive in defence when he tracked back to stop Romelu Lukaku from scoring with a goal-line clearance. So, he showed he has got some capabilities in that role for sure.
By the sounds of it, van Gaal has every intention of continuing to use Rooney in a midfield role for the rest of the season, so we might just have to agree with it whether we like it or not.