Scholes: Wayne Rooney Must Start For England at Euro 2016

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney at Basel, Switzerland, September 8, 2014. Paul Scholes has backed Rooney to start for England at Euro 2016. Philipp Schmidli/Getty

Wayne Rooney, the England captain, must be in the starting line-up for Roy Hodgson’s team at Euro 2016 this summer, according to former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes.

Rooney, 30, faces stiff competition from Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Tottenham’s Harry Kane, who topped the goalscoring chart in the Premier League last season.

The striker was dropped back into midfield by then-United manager Louis van Gaal, but Scholes, who retired in 2013, believes he should be deployed in attack.

“I’d probably still start with Wayne in a No. 10 or a No. 9 role up front with Kane,” Scholes told the Daily Mail.

“I’d maybe keep Vardy as sub for the last 20 minutes and see how it goes. If it doesn’t start great then there are options. It’s the best thing about this squad—so many options.”

Despite the wealth of options Roy Hodgson, the England manager, has at his disposal, Scholes, 41, doesn’t believe the team is capable of going all the way in France.

“We probably won’t win it yet, no,” he said, “but they’re not too far away from possibly the semi-final when you look at the talent in the squad.

“There’s Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling...we’ve got exciting players and if they can find a way of playing and gel together, we’ve got a great chance of getting to the semis.”

England plays its second warm-up match of three on Friday (May 27) against Australia at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.