Is there any logic to playing Wayne Rooney on the left for England tonight?

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Some may see it as an odd move so close to the World Cup.

One of the surprises in the build-up to the World Cup is Roy Hodgson announcing that Wayne Rooney will be playing on the left side of midfield in England’s friendly with Ecuador in Miami this evening.

Hodgson announced the surprise move as he makes a few changes in order to give other players an opportunity to put forward their case for a start when England take on Italy in Menaus in 10 days’ time, along with another eye-opening selection of James Milner at right-back.

Some are citing that Rooney needs time to build up his fitness, but the impact is likely to deny Raheem Sterling a chance from the start to put in his claim for a starting place. Having been in such good form for Liverpool, especially in the second half of the season Hodgson perhaps ought to have a look at the 19-year-old with a view to him playing in the group stages.

On the other side of the coin, some will say that playing Rooney out of position to see if he plays the role well will enable Hodgson to see whether he has another solid option on the left flank, should his side require it.

The England manager is quoted, saying: "Wayne can play in several positions and he'll play in a position which we think will suit the team and which he is capable of playing."

Whilst having versatile players in the squad it does make sense to try players in different roles, but not to the detriment of other players in the side. There is little doubt that Rooney is an accomplished footballer who will give 100% in the role, and probably play it to a very high standard.

But when there is a younger player on the sidelines who is more accustomed to that role, surely he should be given the opportunity as England build to the future?

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