Louis van Gaal may make a big change at Manchester United's attack in tonight's match against Burnley, with ESPN reporting that captain Wayne Rooney potentially returning to his favoured central strike role.
Rooney has been deployed in midfield in most of United's games this season. Actually, the last time he played as a striker was on December 8th, in the 2-1 win at Southampton.
In the last three matches, Van Gaal even moved his captain to the right wing in his new 4-4-2 "diamond" formation. That decision has drawn widespread criticism, but Van Gaal is nothing if not flexible and Rooney could be back playing up top against the Clarets this evening as a result.
Goal return could get a boost
With limited opportunities to approach opponents' boxes, Rooney's scoring record is decreasing at an alarming rate. Infact, despite still being United's second top scorer this season with eight goals, one less than Robin van Persie, Rooney has not seen his name in the scoresheet for eight consecutive matches.
Talking to press on Wednesday, Van Gaal admitted that Rooney's goal drought is down to his midfield role. And he was open to moving the English international back to the attack, since his two main strikers, Van Persie and Radamel Falcao, are both struggling to live up to their reputation as world's leading goalscorers.
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Upton Park performance showed flaws
They both missed great chances in United's latest match against West Ham. More worryingly, the chemistry between the two seemed uneffective. Some pundits even claimed that Van Gaal should use this attacking partnership no more, because they are too similar, and therefore are predictable in their movements.
So moving Rooney back to the attack may be like killing two birds with one stone. Rooney-the-striker will be back among the goals if given the opportunity, which in turn will surely make United a more dangerous proposition moving forward.