United team-mates Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra have heaped praise upon Wayne Rooney following the striker’s superb display in the Reds’ UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg win over Schalke on Tuesday.
Rooney scored one and set up the other on a night when Sir Alex Ferguson’s side could easily have hit five or six were it not for the heroics of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who made several impressive saves against a rampant United attack.
Operating in his newly adopted position behind strike partner Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, Rooney excelled against the Germans, playing with a sense of freedom that allowed the England star to dictate the game from various areas of the Veltins-Arena pitch.
It's a position he has made his own, according to Reds team-mate Evra: “I think Wayne has found his position. When he’s a little bit behind the striker, he gets more touches of the ball.
“I also think Wayne can play as a number 10. He likes to give good balls, and he scores. From behind, maybe he’s more dangerous. I think Wazza is happy to play there as well.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Ferdinand, who was quick to praise Rooney’s versatility and energy up front: “Wayne played in two positions on Tuesday, playing high and running in behind as well as playing just off Chicharito, by coming short and getting things going for us. He seems like he’s enjoying his football - long may it continue.”