Rooney played a huge part in helping the Three Lions qualify for the Euros but faces a race against time to be fit and firing heading into the tournament after only recently returning from injury.
The 30-year-old not only faces serious competition for a starting berth due to the sublime form of Tottenham marksman Harry Kane and Leicester's Jamie Vardy, but also through a number of strikers strengthening their cause for call-ups while Rooney has been on the sidelines.
Aside from Kane and Vardy, who have scored 24 and 22 Premier League goals respectively, Daniel Sturridge has shone for Liverpool in recent weeks as well as West Ham's Andy Carroll, who has netted five times in his last four league appearances.
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"He is important because it’s important to have him on the pitch because he understands the game well and he sets an example for the other players," the Italian said. "This is a very important role he can play."
Considering Kane and Vardy's form this season, Capello believes Rooney should play more of a playmaker role behind both men instead.
"He is changing," he said. "He will play not like a first forward, he will be like a second forward and his movement between the line of the defenders is important and he knows that movement really well.
But Capello's main concern for England is the lack of quality defenders at Roy Hodgson's disposal, not who will fill his striking department.
"The problem for England is not the forwards. You've got a lot of centre-forwards - you need to decide which one you need to stay home," he continued.
"The problem is with the defence, the lack of centre-backs."