Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is set to be handed his favoured striking role next season, as the Red Devils look to re-shape their side following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rooney was deployed in a variety of positions last season, often to accommodate Ronaldo, but now Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he knows exactly where the England international will play next season.
“Yes, Rooney will go through the middle this season, there's no doubt about that,” he told the News of the World.
“Last season was a lot to do with Dimitar Berbatov coming to the club and trying to understand what he was best at.
“You have to utilise what you have available. In some games Wayne played wide left and in some matches it worked, but in others it was not a good position for him. We will change that.”
The United boss also admitted that he was concerned as to how his side could replace Ronaldo’s goals but he added that he was hopeful that Rooney, along with midfielders Nani, Anderson and Owen Hargreaves could deliver the goods.
“The area that does concern us is where to get the 26 goals that Ronaldo gave us,” explained Ferguson.
“That is a concern, because I don't have a midfielder like a young Paul Scholes or a young Ryan Giggs who can give me 15-plus goals from midfield.
“We will have to redirect our play a little bit more, but Rooney is maturing, Owen Hargreaves will be playing again in September, Nani and Anderson are in their third years and Michael Carrick is more mature.”
The Scot also admitted that teams would be less fearful of United, without Ronaldo, but backed Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov to shine next season.
“Where other teams will be encouraged is because we have sold Ronaldo,” admitted the Scot.
“The direction of our game will change to accommodate that, but we will still be very difficult to beat. Michael Owen will get me goals and Dimitar Berbatov will be much better now.”
Gill Clark, Goal.com