David Moyes thinks Wayne Rooney could do a job for England in midfield when the time comes for Roy Hodgson to find potent long-term replacements in attack.
The Manchester United striker, handed a senior debut at Everton by Moyes, has led the line for his country for over a decade and on Saturday equalled Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals for England as Hodgson’s men qualified for Euro 2016 by thrashing San Marino 6-0.
At 29, Rooney is likely to remain an integral player for England for several years to come, with Real Sociedad coach Moyes suggesting he could play out of his preferred position to further prolong his international career.
“I could easily see Wayne being a midfield player for a year or two after that [breaking Charlton’s record],” Moyes told BBC 5 live’s Sportsweek.
“I think he’s got that ability. I think when time his legs run out a bit, he’s such a good footballer, good passer of the ball, I think he can play in other positions.
“Wayne has got a lot of miles on the clock, but I do think he can go on for a bit longer.”
Witnessing Rooney turn burgeoning potential into proven pedigree as he stands on the brink of making history for England fills Moyes with pride, the duo having also worked together during the Scot’s ill-fated spell in charge at Old Trafford.
Reflecting on Rooney’s England career, Moyes said: “To play 12 years at international football takes some doing because everybody in football wants to be a centre forward and everybody wants to take your place.
“But Wayne has been able to hold everybody off for 12 years, so it’s great credit to him.
“I think everybody has been waiting on him breaking the record, to equal it was incredible for him. It really is because Bobby is such a legend, such a figure throughout the country really that for Wayne to get close to Bobby is a great achievement.”