Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney still feels he has a lot to offer the club in a midfield role, but admits there may come a time when he will have to "make it clear" where he wants to play.
Rooney, 30, was dropped from Jose Mourinho's starting XI in the wake of the club's 3-1 defeat to Watford on 18 September, making just one starting appearance since then in an EFL Cup tie against League One side Northampton Town.
Following his appointment at Old Trafford, Mourinho made it immediately clear Rooney's days dropping into a midfield role – as he often did under Louis van Gaal and still does while representing England – are over. "With me, he will never be a no.6, playing 50 meters from goal," Mourinho said in July. "Yes, his passing is amazing but mine is also amazing without pressure. He will be a number 9, number 10 or a number 9.5 half, but never as a number 6."
Speaking ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia, the England captain admitted his poor performance in that defeat to Watford justified him being dropped. But Rooney still feels his game is suited to a midfield role, which he believes is now his best position. "I feel I control and dictate games from there, " he said, the Guardian report. "It is obvious I am not as quick as I was. "You always have a football brain, though, and I've got that. A lot is made of where I play, and how I play, and it gets a bit frustrating at times. There will come a time, if I'm not playing, when I might have to be a bit more selfish in terms of where I want to play and making that clear."
Rooney did insist he remains happy to play wherever Mourinho sees fit.
"Again it is down to the manager. I am not going in and say: I have to play there'. I play where the manager asks me. We spoke at the start of the season, as he said to you guys, he feels my best position is further forward, so that is where I play."
Immediately after the international break, United renew their Premier League campaign with huge matches away to Liverpool and Chelsea.