Rooney Will be a Striker for England Despite his United Role, Says Manager

Published: 13th February 2015 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2015 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

Roy Hodgson has promised Wayne Rooney that he will not be moved into midfield for England and admitted that Harry Kane has proved he is ready for a senior call-up.

Roy-Hodgson12L.jpgRooney, the England captain, is the country's third highest goal-scorer of all time, but has been deployed in midfield by Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to accommodate Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao.

Hodgson insists that Rooney, 29, will remain a striker for England, however, and will be given every chance to score four more goals to pass Bobby Charlton's record of 49.

England's calendar resumes next month with a Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley and a friendly against Italy.

"Wayne's a goalscorer isn't he? So one always likes to see ones goalscorers in positions where they can get into the box and in and around the box," said the England manager.

"If you've got several other goalscorers and you can afford to use one of your goalscorers a bit further back, that's fine. But he's our top goalscorer in the qualifiers, he's just a few goals away now from being England's leading goalscorer, so I hope he will continue to score goals for us.

"Wayne's the sort of player, he can play anywhere. You wouldn't surprise me if one day he played right-back and did very well. He's a very, very good footballer.

"We'll only use him in the position that suits our team and I don't know that will be centre midfield where he plays for Manchester United because they've got other players and that's where they think he does the best job for them, and I fully respect that. But, at the moment, I don't necessarily think that will be his best position for us and I don't have any immediate plans to play him there."

Kane has already scored 23 goals in all competitions for Tottenham Hotspur this season. Barring injury, he is certain to be named in England's squad for the Lithuania and Italy matches, with Burnley's Danny Ings also in contention.

"Harry's got the qualities that you're looking for in a centre-forward," said Hodgson. "He's not one who just stays on the shoulder and makes runs, he's quite prepared to take part in the build-up play, run the channels, receive the longer balls, fight with the centre-halves but is also prepared to make those runs into the box. Really he combines everything that you're looking for in a centre-forward."

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