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Dalglish: Rooney has few peers in the world game

The 61-year-old former Liverpool manager believes that the return of the talismanic striker to the England lineup will make a huge difference to the team's chances at Euro 2012.

Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes the return of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to the England team can only help its chances at Euro 2012.

The talismanic striker is set to return to England's lineup tonight for the team's final group match against co-host Ukraine. Roy Hodgson's side needs just a point to make the knockout stages and could still take top spot in Group D ahead of France if it can better Les Bleus' result against Sweden.

Dalglish did not believe that too much expectation was being placed on Rooney and insisted that there are few players in the world game that can match the 26-year-old for quality.

"England are not a one-man team, but the return of Wayne Rooney to their side against Ukraine will be a huge boost to their chances at Euro 2012," Dalglish wrote in his column for the Daily Mirror. "I have heard some people saying that too much importance is being placed on the return of Rooney after suspension. Really? Let me tell you something: Rooney has few peers in the world game. And he has the ability to make the contribution in Donetsk on Tuesday night that will get England over the line and into the last eight.

"Rooney has every ingredient you need to be a great player and one of the most important of those is that he has retained his love of playing football."

The Merseyside great believes there are plenty of options open to Hodgson in terms of how to deploy Rooney, with Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll competing for the other striking role.

"He could play up front with Andy Carroll or Danny Welbeck," Dalglish considered. "He could play behind one of them, in the hole. He could play as a lone striker.

"Against Ukraine in Donetsk, England just have to give him the ball. Give him the ball and on you go. I suppose there might be a doubt about him being able to last the whole game because of the time he has been on the sidelines. The other way of looking at it - which I prefer - is that he will be as fresh as a daisy."


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