Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is “guaranteed to get you goals” if he is played up front, according to former club captain Steve Bruce.

Rooney’s future at United has been in doubt with sources telling ESPN FC that manager Jose Mourinho is open to selling a player who has been on the bench four times in the past six games.

But discussing Rooney, Aston Villa manager Bruce told talkSPORT: “He has been the best English player for the past decade. You just have to look at his goal-scoring record to know that he is up there with the very, very best the world can offer.

“I think Wayne has been a bit unfortunate. Play him in his position as a centre-forward and he’s guaranteed to get you goals. Make no mistake, he has been one of the great players and still is if you ask me. He’s still got a lot to offer.”

Rooney was used as a midfielder by former United manager Louis van Gaal at the end of last season, then as a No. 10 by Mourinho at the start of this campaign. England have also been using the 31-year-old in a midfield position and demoted him to the bench for the most recent game against Slovenia.

In his last appearances for United, though, Rooney was played as a striker against Fenerbahce and gave a more encouraging display.

“They have chopped and changed him around too often,” Bruce said. “He has suffered from that a little bit.”

Discussing this season’s Premier League, Bruce added: “It’s as strong and as good as it’s ever been. Among the big clubs, it’s fiercely competitive. You can’t predict any sort of result at the minute.”

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