Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says he will continue to utilise captain Wayne Rooney in a midfield position as he feels it gives his team greater balance.
The 29-year-old has spent most of his career playing as a striker but this season he has featured predominately in the middle of the park due to United’s abundance of other attacking talent.
In recent months, Rooney’s versatility has seen him play as an attacking midfielder, on the right edge of a diamond and in the second half of Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Burnley, he was employed in a holding midfield role after Daley Blind was forced off with a head injury.
Seeing their skipper drop deeper and deeper has frustrated United’s fans, who believe he now isn’t able to exert as much influence on the game as in recent years.
However, Van Gaal believes playing Rooney as a midfielder has added greater balance to his team and says he has no plans to move him back up front.
“I have to look for the better balance and I think until now because of Rooney, we have a better balance in midfield,” said the Dutchman.
“I was very pleased how he replaced Daley Blind in the number six position.
“He showed composure and of course he was also today the Rooney that I want to see, but he has showed that he can play in every position.
Maybe he can better play in a striker’s position but then I have a problem in midfield.”
Next up for United is their FA Cup fifth round tie with Preston North End and they will be confident of progressing to the quarter-finals in a competition they’re currently 3.60 to win.