Roy: Play Rooney up front

Rooney has consistently been deployed in the middle of the park in Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United regime and has not scored since Boxing Day.

The Dutchman used him as a defensive midfielder in the 3-1 win over Burnley, telling Sky Sports after the game: “I have to look for the better balance and I think, because of Rooney, we have a better balance in midfield.”

But counterpart Hodgson, speaking ahead of next month’s European Qualifier against Lithuania, insists the 29-year-old – just four goals away from becoming England’s all-time leading scorer – is best played as a striker.

“At the moment I don’t necessarily think (central midfield) will be his best position for us and I don’t have any immediate plans to play him there. But who knows? I will never say never.

“He’s a goalscorer, isn’t he?

“One always likes to see one’s goal-scorers in positions where they can get into the box and in and around the box.

“He’s our top goal-scorer in the qualifiers, he’s just a couple of goals (four) away now from being England’s leading goalscorer, so I hope he will continue to score goals for us.”