Rooney: Van Gaal sees me as Man Utd’s lone striker

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The club captain believes he will play up front next season despite previously dropping into midfield or out wide, and is targeting a haul of at least 20 goals

Wayne Rooney says Louis van Gaal is planning to play him as Manchester United’s lone striker next season.

United have signed Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay this summer, but are yet to replace strikers Falcao or Rovin van Persie, who have departed for Chelsea and Fenerbahce respectively.

Rooney’s role in Van Gaal’s starting XI was a subject of debate last season as the 29-year-old dropped into a deeper role in midfield at times, but the club captain says he and the Dutchman agree he should be deployed as the main striker during the 2015-16 campaign.

“My best position, and I have always said it, is as a striker, getting into the box,” Rooney told the Daily Telegraph. “And the two seasons I have really done that as a lone striker have been my two best goalscoring seasons. It is where the manager and myself see my best position.

“Hopefully I can get a good run of games and repay the manager and score goals for the team, but it is obviously on me to do that.

“I have no doubts that I can score 20 goals or more again and I am ready to take on that mantle and be the one who gets the goals for this team.

“If I play up there again this season, then I can get the goals. It is where I like and it is where I will play.”

The England international has also set himself a target for goals next season as he attempts to make the club title challengers again.

He added: “I have played different roles over the years for United, but you only have to look when I play for England as a striker, I score goals.”

“I hope to score 20 or more goals again this season. If I am playing as a striker, I will be disappointed if I cannot that do that. The last time I really played the full season as a striker was 2011-12. All the other seasons, I have been up front, then in midfield or out wide, so hopefully if I will stay up front. But I don’t think I have sacrificed myself too much over the years.”

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