Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney hopes to emulate the successful transition of former club team mate Paul Scholes from an attack-oriented player to a creative midfielder.
With younger and faster talents coming through, including the likes of strike duo Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, Rooney has acknowledged he may have to drop deeper into midfield from his preferred centre forward position.
Manager Louis van Gaal deployed the 30-year-old England captain in a midfield role to good affect in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Everton on Saturday and Rooney was confident he had the ability to cope with the change.
“I’ve known for a few years. I have played there a few times throughout my career and I can play that position. I have played and watched Paul Scholes play that role for years,” Rooney told British media after the 2-1 win.
“I always knew that one day that is where I would play, so I have tried to learn and watch what he did. It is still early days, but hopefully, if I keep playing there, I can develop and get better,” he added.
“We have got a lot of pace in the team now and I think I can read the game quite well… whether to go forward or stay deeper and leave the space for the other lads.”
Champions League-berth chasing United, who are fifth in the standings and five points off the final qualifying spot, host leaders Leicester City at Old Trafford on Sunday.