Wayne Rooney's role for both Manchester United and England has been highly debated for some months now, with the England star having dropped deeper behind the United and Three Lions' respective first-choice strikers.
The 30-year-old has been used to leading the front line of both England and United for some years now, as the Three Lions' all time top goalscorer. But with age, the Liverpudlian has had to accept that he is seen as being most effective in a deeper role.
However, despite Roy Hodgson using Rooney as a midfielder at this summer's European Championships in France, and new England boss Sam Allardyce being quizzed about the United man's role in the Three Lions' recent World Cup qualifier victory over Slovakia, Paul Ince has slammed Jose Mourinho's decision to play him in midfield.
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Rooney is currently behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in Jose Mourinho's pecking order, as far as featuring up front for the Red Devils is concerned. However, Ince, who spent six years at Old Trafford, doesn't believe the United captain has got all the required qualities to play in midfield.
“I think it’s an insult to Rooney playing him in midfield." Ince said said on the Paddy Power blog, as reported by The Sun.
"He is the greatest goal scorer for England and he’s only three goals shy of being the greatest goal scorer for Manchester United - so why do you want to play him anywhere else?
"He has always been a clever player, but midfield is not about getting the ball and spraying it 40 yards out wide with a Hollywood pass.
"You have got to track people, you have got to tackle and you have got to win the battles in there.
Rooney not got mentality
"Rooney hasn’t got the mentality of a centre midfield player to go up against the likes of Didi Hamann or myself. We would simply overrun him."
The Red Devils captain has scored just once so far this season, in a 3-1 win over Bournemouth. However, Ibrahimovic's prolific nature in front of goal so far this season, along with Rashford continuing to push for a starting birth in Mourinho's team, there currently leaves little space for Rooney to play anywhere else than in midfield.
Skipper reserve option
Both Mourinho and Allardyce seem reluctant to give Rooney game time up front, with both bosses having younger and, arguably, better players available to them than Rooney, at this moment in time.
But if Rooney is to extend his career at United for a while yet, the England star will have to begin equipping himself with the essential skills a midfielder needs, as his days of featuring in Manchester United's frontline seem to be numbered, if not over.
Would Jose Mourinho be better off playing Wayne Rooney in midfielder or up front? Give your opinion in the comment box below.
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