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Ray Parlour Claims Wayne Rooney Deserves More Credit

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Ray Parlour claims Wayne Rooney does not get the credit he deserves as he stands on the brink of becoming England’s all-time record goalscorer.

The Manchester United striker moved level with Sir Bobby Charlton with his 49th international goal against San Marino and could move clear at the top if he can score against Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday night.

Rooney has an identical record to Sir Bobby – with 49 goals from 106 caps – but it is not just his goalscoring prowess that makes him such an asset to the country according to Parlour.

He told Sky Sports News HQ: “I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. Every single squad he’s been there, he always turns up at every opportunity.

“To score 49 goals for your country is a massive achievement. He’s not an out-and-out striker, like Gary Lineker or Alan Shearer, he can play the No 10 role as well. He never hides and he could play for another four or five years easily.

“It will be very difficult to beat his record. When people ask in 10 years who the record scorer is for England it will be Wayne Rooney.

England coach Roy Hodgson has promised changes for the game as his side look to maintain their 100% record in qualifying and Parlour would like to see Harry Kane given a more prominent attacking role against the Swiss.

He said: “You’ve got to have a plan B. Sometimes Roy will play two up front sometimes just one. It’s an important game for England tonight. Whether he tries someone up front with Rooney we will just have to wait and see.

“Harry Kane would be the obvious choice with Rooney just behind. But Kane can drop off as well so it would good to see if the two can interact together.”

One man who is expected to feature is Jonjo Shelvey and Parlour is convinced the Swansea man has what it takes to become a fixture in the centre of England’s midfield for years to come.

He said: “I hope Shelvey will keep his place. I want to see what he can do against better opposition. You’re going to have lots of the ball against San Marino but it’s tougher against Switzerland. I feel if he can have a good game it would cement his claims for a place at the Euro finals.

“I think he’s been brilliant for Swansea and it looks like he can get better. I think he has really come on since leaving Liverpool and joining Swansea.

“He always tries to look forwards not sideways. Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph Jack Wilshere and James Milner can all play in there too, but this a really good chance for Shelvey to shine against a good side. Jonjo Shelvey could be the future for England in that central midfield role.”

As to England’s prospects of success in France next summer, Parlour believes a last-four place would represent progress for Hodgson’s side.

He said: “Can they make an impact in the finals? That is the big question. It was a very easy group for England but they have struggled against the major teams in the finals, in the big game situations.

“What is the expectation? If they can get to the semi-final that would be a good tournament for me. They have got good young players, but can they make a team of it? If they can get the team ethic right, then they can have a good tournament.”