Wayne Rooney enjoying new midfield role for England

by Tanveer Arayan

Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney has insisted that he is enjoying his new role in midfield.

Rooney featured in the middle of the park for Man United during the final few months of the 2015/16 campaign under Louis van Gaal and Roy Hodgson is now using him there for England at Euro 2016.

The 30-year-old has impressed so far in the competition, putting in a couple of commanding displays against Russia and Wales. Rooney, who had previously made his name as a striker, believes he has adjusted to the new position.

“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,” Rooney said.

“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.

“I am enjoying my role at the minute. I think you are involved in the game more. As a striker most of the time you have your back to goal, but in midfield you are mostly facing the goal.

“It’s a different role, a different position and different discipline you have to have in your game.”

Rooney is yet to be tested by high-quality opposition and, generally, the teams he has played against have afforded him a lot of time and space on the ball but the early signs have been good.

He really is leading by example for England in France and he will be looking to take his side far in the competition.

It will be interesting to see how Jose Mourinho uses Rooney next season, particularly as United continue to be linked with forwards such as Breel Embolo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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