After the arguably surprising inclusion of Wayne Rooney in centre-midfield for Manchester United in Sunday's game away at Stoke, there has been a lot of discussion as to whether Rooney is the future of United's midfield.

Simply, the answer is no. Well, at least not yet.

As has been painfully clear to any United supporter in recent years, the Reds have had trouble in the centre of midfield, with the general consensus being that Carrick and his merry men are adequate, but certainly doesn't dazzle the hallowed Old Trafford ground.

This year’s inclusion of Shinji Kagawa and the emergence of Tom Cleverley as a real midfield force has gone some way to solving the problem, but many feel United still lack a real string-puller in midfield.

Then, in one of United's most important games of the season, Ferguson made the decision to start Rooney in the central midfield position alongside Carrick. 

Now, if I were Tom Cleverley, I would be pretty upset having missed the derby as well - having seemingly not doing much wrong. 

Ferguson’s decision was vindicated to a point, Rooney did not play badly, in fact, if anything, he was the one who really pushed United forward throughout the game, shackling Charlie Adam and Steven N'Zonzi with ruthless efficiency.

Rooney's game has clearly developed since he arrived at United nearly 10 years ago, he has become stronger, a more accomplished passer, even his aggression has come under control. That begs the question then, if he can still score goals in that position, why shouldn't he play there?

The answer is pretty simple, he's not ready and he's too important elsewhere.

Rooney is still only 27, meaning that he still has, based on United's longevity, 300 years still to play (perhaps a slight over exaggeration but based on Giggs' career, perhaps not out of the question). In all seriousness, he could easily play up front for another six years before even contemplating changing roles. 

As well as this, what reason would Rooney have to want to play there? He is a striker by trade and by heart who is still scoring goals and, on his day, running the show for Manchester United.

This is where the problem lies then for Ferguson, Rooney is arguably the perfect solution for United's midfield, but he is still a lynchpin at the front. The solution is therefore simple; buy a new midfielder, something that has needed doing since Scholes stopped playing week-in-week-out. 

Names such as Strootman, Eriksen, Dembele, Martinez could all fit in the United side, with the last two joining other clubs. So, just who will be the man to come in at the heart of the midfield. Hopefully Ferguson will answer that question in the summer. 


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