Manchester United are known across the world for producing some of the greatest midfielders football has ever seen. With the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Sir Bobby Charlton and George Best all plying their trade at Old Trafford.
In recent years, though, players, managers and pundits alike have all highlighted this area of Manchester United's team as their main weakness. Saying it lacks the steel and creativity that it once had in abundance. Sir Alex Ferguson's reliance on the old guard, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs seems to confirm what people throughout the game are saying.
Since the retirement of Roy Keane United have lacked a real authority in the centre of the pitch, a midfield general will to put his body on the line and break up opposition attacks. Phil Jones is someone who could perhaps fill this roll, but with Ferguson still not sure on where the England youngsters best position is only time will tell if he can fill that void.
The real answer to Manchester United's midfeild problems, for now at least, is Wayne Rooney. The 27-year-old has been a vital part of the Manchester clubs team for years now, adapting to any position he has been asked to play in and seamlessly linking up with any attacking player he has been partnered with. But Rooney has all the qualities needed to succeed in the centre of the park for United and has been demonstrating that already this season for his club. Racking up 7 assists as well as 4 goals in 11 games in the Premier League.
With Sir Alex Ferguson opting to use a diamond formation for much of this season Rooney has the chance to show off strengths at the top of United's midfield, just behind the 2 strikers. Using his strength and skill to keep the ball and his vision and excellent passing technique to send out raking cross field balls or pin point defence splitting passes.
Rooney will now often sit deeper than his fellow forwards, looking to pick up the ball and pick out the strikers up ahead, who all know if they're in space, Rooney will find them. Robin van Persie recently described the England international as a 91/2, a player that is capable of playing up-front and sitting in behind dictating the play for his team.
As Rooney's career progresses he will almost certainly have to reinvent his playing style much like Giggs and Scholes. He has no need to worry, though. His ability to and superb footballing brain will see him dominate teams from United's midfield for years to come.
Do you think Wayne Rooney should be a permanent feature of the Manchester United midfield?
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