Updated: Saturday, 16th November 2019 @ 10:52pm

Central to his plans: Midfield may be Wayne Rooney’s Swiss role for England in Basel

Central to his plans: Midfield may be Wayne Rooney’s Swiss role for England in Basel

| By David Cowlishaw

Wayne Rooney could start in midfield in his first competitive game as England captain on Monday night.

Despite scoring the only goal in the friendly against Norway on Wednesday night, his performance in an advanced role brought him widespread criticism.

England travel to Basel in what will surely be the toughest game in their qualifying group, and if Roy Hodgson heeds the advice of Man United legend Paul Scholes he may end up moving Rooney into a deeper position.

Writing in The Independent, Scholes said: "This is not an argument to say that Wayne is not a top striker.

“His record says that he is and in an ideal world, I would have two Waynes: one to hit those passes from deep and another to get on the end of them.

"He is the best passer in the team and he can play that role better than anyone."

However, a potential injury to striker Daniel Sturridge, who picked up a knock in training today, may end up ending any plans to play Rooney in a more withdrawn role.

Rooney’s Man United team-mate Phil Jones is expected to return in the centre of defence with Manchester City’s James Milner a substitute.

Main image courtesy of Nike Football via YouTube, with thanks.