Paul Merson: Why Man United captain Wayne Rooney isn’t centre-forward

Arsenal legend Paul Merson says Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is most-effective in No10 role

Paul Merson says Wayne Rooney isn’t a centre-forward and the Manchester United captain’s best position is as a number 10.

The England international has been heavily criticised for his below-par start to the season after he failed to score against Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Club Brugge.

Louis van Gaal has failed to sign any support for Rooney up front after Chelsea beat their title rivals to the £21.1m signing of Pedro Rodriguez from Barcelona on Thursday.

And former Arsenal midfielder Merson insists Rooney isn’t effective as a centre-forward, highlighting why Pedro would have been a good addition.

“Rooney has been poor so far,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“I don’t think playing up front is his position. I think he is best as a No 10 looking at the goal, not with his back to goal. Pedro would have been good for them up front with Rooney off him, but I don’t think Rooney is a centre-forward.

“I’m a big fan of his but not as a centre-forward.”

United manager Van Gaal played Rooney in a centre-midfield role in his first season in charge at Old Trafford.

The England skipper scored 12 goals in 28 Premier League games for the 20-time English champions last term.

MORE: Read the latest Man United player tweets

Rooney has the chance to score his first goal of the season against Newcastle United on Saturday.

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