• Premier League

Rooney eyes midfield switch

ESPN staff
September 6, 2012

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney believes he will end his career in a midfield role.

Rooney, 26, has played the majority of his career for both club and country as an out-and-out striker, but has occasionally dropped into a deeper role when injuries and tactical changes have demanded it.

And the former Everton youngster admits that he could revert to that sort of playmaking role more permanently later in his career, when he has lost some of his speed.

"I did my bit by dropping into a central midfield role when the team got hit by injuries last season," Rooney said, in his new book 'My Decade in the Premier League', excerpts of which were published in the Daily Mirror.

"The manager thinks I can do a job there and, with the likes of Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher all missing games, he asked me to help out.

"When I get stuck into the action as a central playmaker, I love it. I get more of the ball, I'm involved loads.

"I even think about playing there permanently, but only later in my career."

Rooney believes that, when he loses his pace in the later stages of his playing career, he will have to rely on his intelligence and technique - something that he can better exploit from the heart of midfield.

"In midfield I don't have to be as sharp as a forward," he noted. "Once I feel that I haven't got the sharpness needed to get away from defenders, I'll probably drop back into midfield for a couple of seasons so I can still influence the game.

"In my heart I'd prefer it if I was playing up front, because I can still do a lot of damage, but the sacrifices don't bother me."

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