People did scoff a couple of seasons back when Jose Mourinho, then manager at Chelsea, was contemplating a move to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United. The Portuguese had always held the English striker in high regard and now he would have the chance to play the striker or midfielder next season.
That is the greatest issue at the moment, just where should Jose Mourinho play the English star? Many critics believe that Wayne Rooney is wasted playing in midfield as he does not have the range of passing or movement that should be provided by someone who is supposed to set up goals. Others believe the striker is too old to play at the tip of the attack and does not have the same dynamic pace and strength to bully defenders like he used to a few years ago.
Midfield, attack or bye bye?
The 30-year-old was shifted all around by Louis van Gaal last season and had to settle in the midfield as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford took over the goal scoring duties at the top of the attack. Rooney isn’t the fastest player in the world and that is something which has affected his ability to change the course of games.
Jose Mourinho, in recent years, has gone out with just one striker, someone who can hold the ball and do well while allowing others to join in the attack. That was seen with Diego Costa at Chelsea and to some sort of extent with Karim Benzema at Real Madrid, though they had a certain Cristiano Ronaldo bagging goals for fun in Spain.
Even his team in Italy, Inter Milan had Diego Milito doing the damage up front and that could be the role for Wayne Rooney at Manchester United this season. Not scoring too many goals would not be a problem for Jose Mourinho, after all, he is the master of winning goals by just the odd goal or two, what he would want is someone who gives 100% to his club and that is exactly what Wayne Rooney would give.
Rooney could be played alongside a pacey forward like Martial or Rashford, but that would not be the way that Mourinho would like to work. He would rather have two quick wingers or an attacking midfielder playing behind his main striker and that could be the way to go next season for the Red Devils.
Jose Mourinho isn’t known for his attacking football but this should mean that Rooney does get a lot more playing time for United in a position where he could do a lot more damage. Mourinho would want a more creative element in the attacking midfielder’s role and that, to be honest, is not Wayne Rooney.
The Manchester United star only had a pass accuracy of 80% in all competitions for the club last season, which isn’t the greatest stat to have, considering that he would want to play as the most creative outlet for the team.
The English star also had just six assists in all competitions, which again is not good enough for someone out to do a lot of the goal creation. Rooney as a striker is the way to go for Jose Mourinho, but not seen as a Harry Kane, but more like an Emmanuel Adebayor, bringing more players into the attack and helping to set up goals.