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The Roo Factor

Much of the build-up to England’s Euro 2016 campaign focused on how Wayne Rooney would be deployed. Questions were raised – would Roy Hodgson opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation with the Manchester United veteran pulling the strings in a number ten role  behind Harry Kane, would the England manager include Rooney in a front three or would he select him in a deeper midfield role?

After the opening two games the answer is clear, with Rooney playing to the left of  a midfield three, in a 4-3-3 formation.

When England take to the field against Slovakia tonight, he is likely to line-up in the same position with the Slovaks opting to include Marek Hamšík in the hole in their preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. The Napoli forward scored and assisted in Slovakia’s victory over Russia, while Rooney is yet to make a telling contribution.

However, Rooney’s general play has been promising, as illustrated in the Oulala infographic below.

Fantasy Football Portal - Rooney v Hamsik

The England captain has been creating chances and is still managing to get shots away despite failing to get on the scoresheet. This may concern fantasy football managers who are considering including Rooney but on a positive note it should be pointed out that Rooney took all of England’s corner kicks and the majority of free kicks against Wales, with Hodgson apparently giving up on the Harry Kane experiment.

Competition for starting spots up front is really fierce so it looks like Rooney’s future in the England set-up will be in a deeper midfield role.

What is Wayne Rooney’s best position for England ?

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