16 Feb 2015

Van Gaal insists Wayne Rooney is happy playing in midfield for Manchester United

Louis van Gaal insists that Wayne Rooney is happy playing in midfield for Manchester United but may well reinstate the England captain as a striker in future.

There are concerns that Rooney is in danger of becoming disillusioned with a deeper role that limits his goalscoring opportunities. He has not managed a shot on goal this calendar year.

But Van Gaal maintains his skipper is happy to do a job for the team and provide balance in midfield in the absence of better options.
‘He’s happy,’ said the United boss. ‘Otherwise he should come to me and say he’s not. He never does. He’s always friendly to me. He wants to perform what I want so that’s what I see.

‘When the whole world is writing he has to be in the striker’s position, he will be thinking “maybe”. He’s human.

‘But I’m looking for balance and I need it in midfield. The last games I played with Adnan Januzaj and Angel Di Maria in midfield. Then you need a certain balance for those kind of creative players.’
However, Van Gaal acknowledges that Rooney may still be his ‘best striker’ and could play him up front again if he can sign a midfielder this summer.

Asked if that is a priority following talks with United’s owners, Van Gaal said: ‘Of course. Maybe, he (Rooney) is the best striker but I have to look at where a player can make the biggest contribution, and compare that to other players.
‘The composition of the team is more important than the individual. I am sorry but that’s the way it is.’
Credit: Chris Wheeler/SportsMail

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