Football

Rooney was used in midfield against Crystal Palace.

Louis van Gaal will continue to use Wayne Rooney in midfield following Crystal Palace performance

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A big discussion in recent weeks has been whether Wayne Rooney deserves to start up-front for England at Euro 2016.

Harry Kane has scored 24 goals in the league while Jamie Vardy has notched 22 times.

Rooney isn’t the third top English striker in the goalscoring charts, though. Jermain Defoe, Troy Deeney and Andy Carroll are all above the Manchester United star while Daniel Sturridge, who has only made 11 league appearances, is level with him.

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But, let’s be honest, Roy Hodgson is always going to start Wayne Rooney and Louis van Gaal may have figured out how the Three Lions should use him.

During their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday, Rooney was employed in a midfield position behind Marcus Rashford up-front.

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The 30-year-old showed his class, dictating the play while showing off his sensational passing ability and Van Gaal has revealed that he will continue to use him as a midfielder.

Rooney the midfielder 

"Rooney again was the player who switched the play and I like that very much," Van Gaal told reporters, per the Daily Mail.

"No player has a fixed position, I use the players where I think they can give a higher contribution in a particular game. It was a midfield role tonight because of the way Crystal Palace were playing.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

"I don't want to change (Marcus) Rashford as a striker. We have to look for another position for Wayne. He did that last year (midfield) so it is not something new to me. I am very happy with the way he performed,” he added.

Rashford's progression

Rooney certainly has the ability to adapt to a central midfield role in the coming years - something that would help Rashford and Anthony Martial to progress as players.

Rashford has been the main beneficiary of Rooney’s recent injury problems with the 18-year-old bursting onto the scene and scoring seven goals in the absence of his captain.

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His performances have been so good that £36 million signing Martial has been forced to play wide on the left and Van Gaal seems reluctant to replace Rashford with Rooney.

United and England glory?

Rooney could play the remainder of the campaign in the midfield role as United look to salvage something for their disappointing season. They face a demoralised Everton side this weekend in the FA Cup semi-final while they are just one point adrift of Arsenal in their quest for a top-four finish.

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Rooney will be hoping he can lead his club to glory before he captains his country in France this summer. Whether it’s as a striker, a number 10, or as a central midfielder, Rooney will be key for both Van Gaal and Hodgson in the coming months.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal
England Football
Football
Rio Ferdinand
Premier League
FA Cup

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