Javier Mascherano – The tough tackling defensive midfielder has been transformed into a central defender since moving to Barcelona in 2010 but it was not an immediate switch of role. The Argentinian established himself as one of Europes most impressive tacklers under Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, and soon caught the eye of the Catalan giants. Joining arguably the greatest club side of all-time, Mascherano was not necessarily an obvious fit for free-flowing football. But a Champions League encounter against Arsenal, where a tackle on Nicklas Bendtner proved decisive, gave Mascherano and the coaching staff at the Camp Nou enough reason to believe he could be a success in Spain. Trophies soon followed, as Mascherano became a guaranteed starter in his new role. Robin van Persie – Arsene Wenger settled on the promising Dutch youngster as the natural heir to Dennis Bergkamps throne. The 20-year-old arrived in north London as a forward who was capable of playing on the wing, scoring six goals for Feyenoord in his final season in the Eredivise. Similar to his thinking with Henry, Wenger opted to play Van Persie in a more central role alternating as a striker and a number 10. But leading the line proved to be the Dutchmans best position, as he soon became an indispensible member of the Gunners starting XI, before being prized away by the lure of Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. Gareth Bale – Tottenham signed the exciting full-back from Southampton after the 17-year-old enjoyed a blistering breakthrough season at St Marys. The Welsh international endured a testing introduction to life in the Premier League, playing 24 games without tasting victory, before being linked with a loan-spell to Nottingham Forest. But Bale turned down the move and was eventually moved into a left-wing role by Harry Redknapp, following an injury to first-choice fullback Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Individual awards came Bales way, but it was Andre Villas-Boas arrival in north London in 2012 that catapulted the winger into one of the worlds most feared attacking threats in a central role. Real Madrid soon came calling with a world-record offer that proved too good to turn down. Players regularly reveal the position they played as a child is completely opposite to the role they occupy in the professional game.England boss Gareth Southgate has suggested that John Stones – a central defender – is a future option for the Three Lions as a holding midfielder.Professionals are often eager to move away from being viewed as a versatile player, who can play in many positions, rather than being a master of one.But should Stones impress in a new role against France on Tuesday night, could it be the start of something great for a player who has struggled for consistency in his regular position in defence?Here we look at 10 players who went on to enjoy great success in a new position – scroll through the gallery above to take a look. 10 10 10 Thierry Henry – Contrary to popular belief, the now SkySports pundit was used as a striker in his Monaco youth days. But as the Frenchman progressed to the first team, Arsene Wenger decided to utilise his compatriot on the flanks, with pace being his most obvious strength. And despite altering his position previously, Wenger reinstated Henry to his natural role of playing through the middle when the pair were reunited at Arsenal in 1999. And although it took time for Henry to be re-taught the art of striking, it proved to be a decisive moment for both club and player with Henry becoming the Gunners all-time leading scorer en route to securing two Premier League titles and three FA Cups. 10 Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid gave a clear indication of how much they rated a then 19-year-old Ramos, after handing the full-back an eight-year contract upon his £18.5million arrival from Sevilla. Clearly adept with the ball at his feet, Ramos thrived when given the opportunity to attack from his deep lying position with both club and country. But it was in 2011, when Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho decided to move Ramos to a more central role that the full talents of the Spaniard were allowed to shine. The Spanish giants soon started to establish themselves as a force at home and abroad, with Ramoss shift in position a catalyst for his sides recent rise to the top of European football. 10 Vincent Kompany – Arriving in 2008, Kompany joined Manchester City from Hamburg as a promising defensive midfielder. The Belgians £6million price tag soon became a bargain, following Roberto Mancinis decision to experiment with the versatile performer at the heart of his defence. Kompany went from strength to strength, becoming captain and leading the club to their first Premier League title in 2012. At the age of 26, Kompany was being mentioned as possibly the greatest defender of the modern era in England, possessing every attribute needed to thrive and provide further success for the Citizens. Despite suffering with injuries in recent years, Kompany continues to be a standout performer when he takes to the pitch. 10 10 10 Bastian Schweinsteiger – Starting out as a tricky left-winger, Schweinsteigers role has changed greatly over the years. Renowned for his dribbling skills and being a set-piece specialist, the German still caught the eye for Bayern Munich and for his country on the international stage. But it was Louis van Gaals decision to change Schweinsteiger into a holding midfielder that proved to be the making of one of footballs most technically gifted players. Combining a skillset of tackling, vision and the ability to dictate play, Schweinsteiger elevated himself into arguably Europes most complete midfielder for a number of years. Andrea Pirlo – The elegant Italian changed the way in which football fans believed a deep-lying midfielder should play. As was the way, a sides most creative player was used as high up the pitch as possible, which saw Pirlo occupy a number 10 role at Brescia. Inter Milan were suitably impressed and brought the midfielder to the San Siro, where he largely struggled and returned to Brescia for a loan spell, before thriving under manager Carlo Mazzone as a quarterback. AC Milan convinced their neighbours to allow Pirlo to swap his colours to red and black becoming one of footballs most famous what if? scenarios. Pirlo became an integral part of a Milan team that went on to win two Champions Leagues. Toni Kroos – The much-heralded Real Madrid holding midfielder was not always a cherished figure at previous clubs. After breaking into the Bayern Munich first team set-up at the age of 17, Kroos was sent out for an 18-month loan spell to Bundesliga rivals, Bayer Leverkusen. Upon his return, Kroos continued to be a bit-part player in Bavaria while operating as an attacking midfielder, who was capable of playing in a wider role. Jupp Heynckes arrival in 2011 marked a change in fortunes for Kroos, as he became more of a first team regular. Spanish giants Real Madrid capitalised on the German internationals contract situation, before seamlessly replacing the departed Xabi Alonso and becoming his sides anchor in midfield. 10 10 Gianluca Zambrotta – Back in 1999, Juventus believed they were signing Italys most promising right-winger. However, Marcello Lippi worked his new recruit into a dynamic fullback that was as equally capable of preventing opportunities as he was creating them. Comfortable on either side, Zambrotta possessed both the tactical intelligence and discipline to thrive in his new role with the Old Lady and the Azzurri. Enjoyed his greatest moment alongside Lippi at the 2006 World Cup after winning footballs biggest prize in the company of the man who reinvented him into the ultimate modern full-back.