Rooney ready to follow in Scholes’ footsteps at Man United

Date published: Monday 25th April 2016 9:51

Wayne Rooney: Has a lot to prove this season

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will use Paul Scholes as inspiration after being deployed as a midfielder in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton.

The 30-year-old has been placed in midfield in the past, but has always insisted he prefers to play as the out-and-out striker he was when he first burst on to the scene as a teenager.

But he returned to that deep-lying, quarterback role in United’s last-gasp FA Cup semi-final success against his boyhood club Everton on Saturday.

He was one of the best players on display at Wembley, picking out passes and starting attacks, while also undertaking the defensive side of the game, including clearing a Romelu Lukaku effort off the line in the early stages.

United, who are still uncertain of a top-four finish and with manager Louis van Gaal’s future the subject of speculation, now face a May 21 FA Cup final date with Crystal Palace.

Rooney is likely to remain in his new role given the form of United’s young attacking talents Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.

And the England skipper is now ready to use the experience of playing alongside Scholes for so many years as a way of improving in the position.

“I’ve known for a few years, I have played there a few times throughout my career and I can play that position,” Rooney replied when asked if he was at home in midfield.

“I have played and watched Paul Scholes play that role for years and 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.

“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.

“Obviously it is down to the manager, it is his decision and for the team more importantly it is the right thing to do at this moment in time.”

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