Where will Wayne Rooney fit into Jose Mourinho’s United plan?

Where will Wayne Rooney fit into Jose Mourinho’s United plan?
Jul 26, 2016

Manchester United

As Jose Mourinho continues to settle in at Old Trafford, one of the main talking points amongst fans and media alike, is where will current club Captain, Wayne Rooney, fit in the Portuguese Managers squad?

Rooney is undoubtedly seen as a legend at United after more than 10 years at the club, in which he has won almost everything possible, and is set to have a testimonial vs Everton at the start of August.

A first, and possibly most obvious, position that many people believe is where Rooney will play the majority of his football under Jose Mourinho is the number 10 role in behind the Striker. This is a role that Rooney has often been used effectively in recent years both under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal at United. But with the signing of Henrikh Mkitaryan, as well as the likes of Juan Mata and Ander Herrera along with the possible signing of Paul Pogba competing for the same position, would Rooney fancy his chances of being a regular in United’s starting 11 like he has been for so long? Or will he opt to try and force himself into a different position in Mourinho’s plan in which there is less demand?

Another position that Rooney is very familiar with from earlier in his career is the role as the main centre-forward. United’s number 10 hasn’t featured in this role for many years at club level as all Managers over the past few years have opted to play Rooney in a deeper role in which he can be used more effectively to dictate the play.

With Rooney rapidly approaching Sir Bobby Charlton’s United goal scoring record, wouldn’t he surely be happy to play in a role in which he is a lot more likely to return to being United’s top scorer? Or would he be happy to sit back and dictate the play without worrying about becoming United’s record scorer?  Mourinho want this from his Captain? Only time will tell.

Ever since joining the club earlier this Summer, Jose Mourinho has declared that Rooney will not be used as either a number 6, or possibly even a number 8, both known commonly as positions in the centre of midfield. This clashes with the England Captains theory that as his career develops and he continues to get older, that he will drop further and further down the pitch away from the strikers role. A potential problem already between the new Manager and his Captain.

Without a doubt we will find out more from Jose Mourinho’s plans for his club Captain’s positioning as pre-season unfolds and United’s Premier League campaign starts, but for the moment, Wayne Rooney’s positioning could prove to be one of the first real problems for Mourinho as he starts this new era at Old Trafford.



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