Ray Parlour believes Roy Hodgson will use Wayne Rooney as a playmaker at Euro 2016 and backed the England captain to shine in France.
Rooney has struggled for form and fitness at Manchester United in 2015-16, failing to reach double figures in Premier League goals for the first time since joining the club.
His mixed performances – along with the impressive displays of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy – have prompted some to suggest the national team’s skipper and record scorer should not start at the Euros.
Hodgson, though, has all but guaranteed the 30-year-old will be in the first XI for the Group B clash with Russia in Marseille on Saturday.
And former Arsenal midfielder Parlour, who earned 10 England caps, is confident the experienced attacker will deliver at the tournament.
“I think we will definitely score goals with the forwards we’ve got. Dele Alli just behind the front probably and Wayne Rooney’s going to play a big part as well,” Parlour told Omnisport at the launch of his autobiography The Romford Pele.
“Wayne Rooney’s a great player, there’s no doubt. On his day he can change games, so let’s hope he has a really good tournament.
“I think he’ll play in the three behind Harry Kane. It won’t be left or right. I’m sure Roy Hodgson will put him, as skipper, in a positon where he thinks he can really contribute to the team.”
Parlour also defended Hodgson’s decision to select Jack Wilshere, who impressed for England in qualifying but started just once for Arsenal in the Premier League last season after breaking his leg prior to the campaign.
“Jack’s always done brilliant when he’s had an England shirt on,” Parlour said. “Roy’s quite a loyal man and Wilshere got him into the finals.
“Jack can be a match-winner. You want people who can go past players and create chances – I’m sure Jack can do that.”
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