Louis van Gaal has already decided what he wants to do with Wayne Rooney next season, and it involves him moving back into a deep-lying midfield role.
The Daily Mirror makes the claim that the Dutchman wants Rooney to make a transition from a forward to a central midfield role, as he is desperate to incorporate the talents of Robin van Persie, Juan Mata and the England international all into the same squad. It’s believed that Van Gaal has already spoken to Reds chiefs concerning the idea, and is now ready to put his plans into motion as he looks to prepare for the coming season.
Van Gaal is apparently not ready to force Rooney to play out wide in his new United team and, whilst Mata is said to be the man likely to be fielded in the No.10 role, with Van Persie leading the line, the former Everton star will drop back to fill the role that Paul Scholes vacated when he retired last summer. Since then the likes of Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher have all been unable to adequately hold United’s midfield together for differing reasons, and the Red Devils newly appointed boss clearly feels Rooney would be able to do just that.
The £300,000-a-week 28-year-old fired back at his critics with an equalising goal against Uruguay last Thursday, and will no doubt be looking to finish strongly against Costa Rica, with England having already been eliminated from the World Cup. Though Chelsea have at times been named in connection with moving for him this summer it makes sense to assume that Rooney could well become Van Gaal’s captain moving forward, with Nemanja Vidic’s departure necessitating the need for a new leader for the club.
The Mirror believes that Van Gaal is convinced Rooney could be the answer to his midfield problems due to his already excellent passing range and determination to harangue the opposition until he wins the ball back. Though initially beginning his career as an out and out striker the United talisman has found success when playing in different position, and is more than comfortable in the No.10 role, which suggests he is versatile enough to adapt to life as an engine in the middle of the park.
OTHER MIDFIELD OPTIONS
It’s no secret that Van Gaal has prioritised the improvement of the spine of his team, with the squad crying out for both a new centre-back and another midfielder. Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira all find themselves on the list of potential additions, but opting for Rooney could allow United to focus on more pressing problems.