Even for a player used to being in the spotlight, the constant talk about the 30-year-old’s most influential role is starting to grate.
Rooney played in Roy Hodgson’s midfield at Euro 2016 having ended Manchester United’s campaign there, only for Jose Mourinho’s appointment to see him shift back to a more attacking position.
The Three Lions captain returned to a deep-lying role in last month’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia, with Sam Allardyce even expressing surprise at how far he dropped in the narrow win.
Rooney’s position continues to be a talking point despite the 61-year-old no longer being at the helm, with the topic re-emerging ahead of Southgate’s first matches in interim charge.
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“I don’t know, it’s a question for Gareth,” the England captain said.
“The question of where I’m going to play... it’s getting a bit tired the question of whether I’m going to play as a striker, in midfield or as a number 10.
“I’ve answered that question many times and it’s the same answer: I’ll play wherever the manager wants me to play.
“I don’t pick myself, I haven’t picked myself ever and I will play to instructions.
“I’m sure the instructions from Gareth, whether it’s to play or not to play, are instructions I will carry out to the best of my ability.”
The clear irritation at the constant questions compounds a difficult time for Rooney at club level.
Named on the bench for United’s last three matches, he arrives on England duty in the unusual position of looking for game time.
“Of course you want to play as a footballer player but it is my job, I love football and I love being involved with the team,” he said.
“Obviously I’m not starting at the moment at Manchester United but I have to work hard to try to get back in the team and the starting XI, which I’m doing, and when I get my chance I have to take it.”