Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney has occupied a midfield role in recent weeks for Manchester UnitedGetty

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he is enjoying his new deeper role in the midfield after being awarded the club's player of the month for December.

The 29-year-old England international has scored eight goals and provided four assists in 17 Premier League appearances this season, becoming a crucial player for manager Louis van Gaal by playing behind the strikers or in the middle of the park.

Even though during Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure some claimed he did not feel comfortable when the former manager deployed him as a playmaker, he now appears to be enjoying the position.

"It's different obviously but it's a role that the manager has given me and it's one that also gives me license to get forward," he said to Manchester United's official website.

"You have to make sure you do your defensive duties as well because it's an important position on the pitch. I've tried to do that the best I can. Hopefully, I can keep doing that and keep learning and improving."

The captain added three goals to his tally during the month of December, netting the club's goal of the month against Liverpool following an assist from Antonio Valencia, while scoring a brace during the 3-1 victory against Newcastle United on 26 December.

"You always love scoring goals and scoring against Liverpool for me, for this club, is always nice. It's certainly up there for sure," Rooney said.

"It was a great piece of play from Antonio [Valencia]. I managed to back the play up and Antonio saw me and picked me out and I managed to finish it. It was a great feeling to score against Liverpool."

Rooney recently complained about the number of games played during Christmas, claiming players can get injured because of that.

Speaking about that, he said: "It's always a tough month, December, and, as a player and a team, you have to dig in because it's physically demanding. I thought we did well as a team and I scored a few goals from my role in midfield. It's always great to get on the scoresheet and to create a few goals was also nice.

"It's great to play games and it's great for the fans over the Christmas period to be able to go and watch their team play. As I said, it's physically demanding so the recovery we do is always the most important thing to make sure we're right and ready for the next match."