Wayne Rooney is set to spearhead Manchester United’s attack in 2015-16.
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is confident he can score more than 34 goals next season and inspire the club to Premier League glory.
Rooney’s versatility has worked against him in recent years, deployed as a winger and even a holding midfielder by manager Louis van Gaal at times last term, but he will return to his favoured striking position in 2015-16.
The presence of past players such as Robin van Persie, Dimitar Berbatov and Cristiano Ronaldo forced Rooney away from his natural role as a centre forward, but in the seasons when he was used up front, the England captain scored 34 goals in all competitions in both 20011-12 and 2009-10.
With the arrival of midfield duo Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin freeing up Rooney, the 30-year-old is ready to break his best ever season tally and end United’s two-year wait for silverware.
“My best position, and I have always said it, is as a striker, getting into the box,” Rooney said.
“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 [pressure] 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.”
Rooney added: “If I am playing as a striker, I will be disappointed if I cannot that do that [score 20 goals]. 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.
“Football is a team game and you win and lose together. Over the years, I have been successful and won a lot of trophies with United and I think there are times when you have to do things for the good of the team and I feel I have done that.
“I have played deeper or wider some seasons and won Premier League medals and, as a footballer, that is your aim – to be successful with your team-mates.”