Wayne Rooney wants Manchester United to use Paul Pogba in a midfield position where he can break into the box and score goals.
Although Pogba’s future remains in doubt with his contract due to in June 2021, the France midfielder could well stay at Old Trafford beyond this summer’s transfer window.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side haven’t seen consistent form from Pogba, but Rooney says the midfielder’s ability is “incredible”. The former United forward believes Pogba should play in a role similar to the one Frank Lampard operated in for Chelsea in the 2000s – and that would bring him more goals.
Writing in his Sunday Times column Rooney said: “I would love to see Paul Pogba playing deeper and attacking the box the moment the ball went wide.
“He would score more goals and with his good feet, his athleticism, he would be an absolute nightmare. I would use him in that role — it’s one where, if he developed in it, he could be incredible.”
Rooney, United’s record goal-scorer, explained how players like Lampard would be a nightmare to deal with, breaking into the penalty box to score.
He said: “The Frank Lampard type [is a nightmare], the midfielder who runs past you: with Frank, when the ball went wide you knew he would be off, sprinting into the box and he was one of those about who Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson] would say: ‘This player is not a one-man job — you have to pass them on’.
“He would say that about some you wouldn’t imagine: Stephen Ireland was one, Jermaine Jenas another, purely because they were willing to run beyond your midfield and with those players there’s going to be a crossover movement from when your central midfielder is dealing with it to when your centre back is.
“One lapse of team concentration in that moment and the best — like Lampard — punish you.”