Wayne Rooney will be used as striker for England, despite dropping to midfield for Manchester United, says Roy Hodgson

Rooney has operated in midfield for Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson says that he believes Wayne Rooney’s best position is as a striker and will play the England captain in that position, regardless of his switch to midfield under his Manchester United club manager Louis van Gaal.

Rooney, 29, has even operated as a defensive midfielder for United in recent weeks. But Hodgson said when England reconvene for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley on 27 March, and the subsequent friendly against Italy, the man third in the all-time list of England goalscorers will be selected as a striker.

“Well, he’s a goalscorer, isn’t he?” the England manager said. “So one always likes to see one’s goalscorers in positions where they can get into the box, and around the box.

“If you’ve got several other goalscorers and you can afford to use one of your goalscorers a bit further back, that’s fine. But he’s our top goalscorer in the qualifiers, he’s just a few goals away now from being England’s leading goalscorer, so I hope he will continue to score goals for us.”

Hodgson also said that he was considering Tottenham players Harry Kane and Ryan Mason and Burnley’s Danny Ings for the squad. On Kane, he said: “He’s got the qualities that you’re looking for. He can be a target player and receive balls that are played up to him.

“He’s not one who just stays on the shoulder and make runs, he’s prepared to take part in the build-up play, run the channels. He combines everything that you’re looking for in a centre-forward.”