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Sidwell: Rooney should play striker

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Steve Sidwell believes that Wayne Rooney should play as a striker for the English national team instead of in midfield.

Sidwell, 33, spent nine seasons in the Premier League with Reading, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Fulham and Stoke City. Hes currently represent Brighton in the Championship. The midfielder thinks that Rooney’s best position for England is up front, and should start ahead of Daniel Sturridge who lead the line against Malta, with Rooney playing in midfield.

“This is the first time in his career when his position is being scrutinized,” Sidwell said. “He is more of a natural No 10, competing against the likes of Sturridge and Jamie Vardy. With Wayne, the standards he has set have been phenomenal. He’s been performing just below that – but he wasn’t that bad against Malta.

“His best position is further up the pitch. I would play him instead of Sturridge, give him free rein, take the shackles off and let him be the spearhead.

“He can play in a three behind a striker, of course he can. Everyone’s jumping on his back. Let’s just get behind him. People booing him…it’s not good for him or the team.

“This squad is a young squad and after the summer they are frail and a bit low on confidence. They need someone like Wayne Rooney in the dressing room and on the pitch to get them going.”

England takes on Slovenia in Ljubljana at the Stozice Stadium on Tuesday.

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