Louis van Gaal has told Wayne Rooney that the Manchester United captain will be his first choice centre-forward in 2015/16, with goals expected to flow as a result.
Rooney was a victim of his own wholehearted versatility last season, when he spent as many games in central midfield as he did playing number nine.
However, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie have both departed the club this summer, leaving the 29-year-old as the club’s undisputed first choice in the role.
The bwin layers have set the England forward’s under/over Premier League goals bar for 2015/16 at 15.5.
A price of 17/20 about him striding over that mark like a colossus could look preposterously generous come the season’s latter stages, if past campaigns in which he has been trusted to function as the side’s most advanced striker are a guide.
Rooney’s best league hauls in a red shirt came in 2009/10 and 2011/12 when he struck 26 in 32 games and 27 in 34 respectively.
Both are his best career tallies by a margin of nine goals or more and both came when he was employed as an out-and-out striker rather than a number ten/attacking midfielder.
The former campaign saw him carry the side in the aftermath of the sales of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, with distinctly lukewarm support from Dimitar Berbatov as an occasional, lackadaisical number ten behind him.
Two seasons later he was at it again, with only Javier Hernandez or Danny Welbeck for company, he fired a fairly average United to second behind Manchester City.
The substantial investment this summer could mean that this is the best side Rooney has ever had the fortune to have playing behind him in a season where he must shoulder the lion’s share of the scoring responsibilities.
Sign up for a new account at bwin.com and claim a £30 free bet that cops a £25.50 risk free profit if Rooney can surpass the 15 league-goal mark in 2015/16.