Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has indicated that Wayne Rooney is likely to continue in the midfield for their upcoming clash against Everton in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on 23 April. The follows his successful performance in a similar position during their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on 20 April.
The English forward is returning after a three-month spell on the sidelines with a knee injury and is gradually being introduced by the manager. The United skipper is not new to the attacking midfield role, after being deployed in a similar position during the last season as well, and the manager believes the striker is well suited to midfield as he provides good transition from defence to attack.
Moreover, Van Gaal is not keen to replace Marcus Rashford, who has made the No 9 position his own since his blistering breakthrough earlier in the year. The 18-year-old striker has scored seven goals in 13 appearances thus far, including crucial goals during their win over Arsenal and Manchester City.
Rooney is keen to play regularly for the first-team and prove his fitness ahead of England's trip to France for the European Championship finals in France later this year. He has made three first-team appearances since his return, but is yet to complete the full 90 minutes.
"Rooney again was the player who switched the play and I like that very much," Van Gaal said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"No player has a fixed position, I use the players where I think they can give a higher contribution in a particular game. It was a midfield role tonight because of the way Crystal Palace were playing."
"I don't want to change (Marcus) Rashford as a striker. We have to look for another position for Wayne. He did that last year (midfield) so it is not something new to me. I am very happy with the way he performed," the Dutch manager added.