Wayne Rooney excited about new role under Jose Mourinho

by Leo Nieboer

Wayne Rooney has expressed his enthusiasm at the prospect of playing as a No.10 under Jose Mourinho next season.

The 30-year-old, following a string of poor performances at both No.9 and No.10 last season, ended up featuring as a midfielder for Louis van Gaal during the latter stages of the 2015/16 campaign, as well as at Euro 2016.

However, despite being written off as a No.10 by many, Rooney has received a vote of confidence from Mourinho, who insisted in his first press conference that the Englishman will occupy an advanced role next season.

Rooney has outlined his desire to make the most of the opportunity to play at No.10 once more.

“It’s almost like a free role and I am excited to play it,” he said.

“As he said to the press, he said to me about playing No.10. That is something I’ve now got to work on and get myself in the right position to score goals.

“I have scored goals all through my career and I have no doubt in my goalscoring ability. Hopefully I can do that this season.”

If last season is anything to go by, Rooney possesses none of the attributes demanded of a No.10. Somebody who thrives in that free role behind the striker needs to be agile, positionally astute, elusive on the ball, and, most importantly, deadly in their passing accuracy.

It seems unlikely that Rooney will be able to fit this mould. That said, a regenerated, more attacking style under Mourinho may benefit the striker, who will be determined to prove his many critics wrong next season.

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