Man United's Wayne Rooney still important for England - Juan Mata
Wayne Rooney should play a key role for England at the European Championship this summer, according to Manchester United teammates Juan Mata and Ander Herrera.
Rooney has looked short of peak form and fitness for some time and there have been calls for Roy Hodgson to leave his captain out of the side this summer, but the England manager has repeatedly said that the 30-year-old remains firmly in his plans.
Rooney, who is looking to establish himself as a midfielder, set up Mata's goal in the 1-0 victory over Norwich on Saturday after being pressed into service as a lone striker, and the Spain international said in The Times: "He does not have anything to prove.
"He can play as a striker, a winger, a midfielder as he has shown in the last few weeks. I would imagine Roy Hodgson is very happy with the positions that Wayne can play in.
"Wayne is important for us no matter which position he plays in; also with the experience he can bring to the dressing room. He is a great player and will always be a great player. He got an assist and showed very good movement. He played a great ball."
Herrera, meanwhile, said Rooney still had an important role to play in France despite the new-look England squad relying heavily on young, quick players.
"He is a very good captain and sometimes big players can be selfish," the Spaniard said. "Wayne is not -- in the team or dressing room. He is a team player. England have a young and quick team but you have to have players like Wayne or Michael Carrick. They are important for balance."