x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Rooney wants centre stage

The England striker tells Manchester United fans he is the man to score the goals to help the club win more silverware next season.

Wayne Rooney has often been played out of position at Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney has often been played out of position at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney has reassured fans he is the man to fill the considerable void in Manchester United's attack after the high profile departures of Cristiano Ronalo and Carlos Tevez from Old Trafford. Rooney is expected to spearhead United's quest for honours next season having often been sacrificed on the left of an attacking troika to accommodate others in Sir Alex Ferguson's squad, most notably Ronaldo, over the last two years. However, the Portuguese winger has just completed the most expensive transfer in football history to Real Madrid for a lofty £80 million (Dh254m), while the Argentine striker Tevez has opted against signing a five-year deal on offer with the English Premier League champions, fuelling speculation he will join rivals Manchester City. "We've lost two key players and obviously I hope we can get a few players in," Rooney told The Times. "Between them Cristiano and Carlos scored a lot of goals for us last season and the season before, but I would like to think I'm capable of filling that gap. There departures leaves Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov as the club's most experienced front men with the England international believing Ferguson should turn to him as the man to fire United to more trophies next term. "I've said before that, if I can play in my right position, I'm capable of doing that (scoring goals)," he said. "I want to play in the position where I feel I'm best." "A lot of people think I'm best as a centre forward. "To play in a Champions League final and to play week in, week out for Manchester United is a privilege and it's something I'm very lucky to be doing, but I don't think playing on the wing I can express myself as much as I like to."

sluckings@thenational.ae *With Agencies