Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal believes that Wayne Rooney can still score 25 goals for the club this season despite his recent Premier League drought.
The England international has failed to find the back of the net in his last 11 Premier League matches. Anthony Martial, who has now scored 3 league goals in just over 100 minutes on the pitch, has further dented Rooney’s chances of operating in the No. 9 role for the club.
Rooney has scored 4 goals this season for Manchester United in the Champions League and the League Cup, but none in the league. However, Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal still believes that Rooney is at his best when he plays up front for the club.
Rooney a perfect No. 9
Speaking ahead of Manchester United’s clash against struggling Sunderland, Van Gaal re-emphasized his desire to play Rooney as a striker saying (via ESPN FC): “I think that Wayne can play a lot of positions. He has shown that last season.
“I want to play with a first striker and a second striker and maybe they are a very good duo together. We shall wait and see.
“I have to wait and see if he can play as a second striker in this system, which we now play.
“He [Rooney] is a striker for me and maybe I shall use him behind Martial, but when he plays with Fellaini, he shall always play in front of Fellaini because I want a striker who is running in behind.
“That’s also why I want to keep Wilson until December maybe because he is also a typical striker running in behind.
“He has already scored four goals. I dona t think that is an issue for him, for me or for the club, so he shall score also in the Premier League. That I am convinced of. And you shall see it.
“Also he has been a little bit unlucky. I can give you an example: Against Newcastle [in August’s 0-0 draw] he scored and it was not offside but it was cancelled. You cannot manage the referee. The referee is independent.”
Anthony Martial’s impressive start
Van Gaal further went on to laud the performances of Manchester United’s new summer signing Anthony Martial at the start of his club career.
“It is a little bit of luck, but of course the main thing is his quality. As a player, he has to do it and he has to cope with the pressure. What we have seen until now, he can do it,” Van Gaal was quoted as saying by the club’s official website.
a Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 25, 2015
“His personality is that he is an open guy, he is listening, he is watching, he is focusing on the matches.
“For a manager, he is a very coachable player a that is also why I bought him.
a I have been saying for many, many press conferences that I want speed, I want creativity and thata s why we bought Memphis [Depay] and thata s why we bought Martial also.
“Of course you can compare Martial with Kluivert,a added Van Gaal (via The Guardian). a You can do that. Because Kluivert was also a fantastic, athletic figure and scored goals right from the beginning. But you cana t compare the periods or the resistance in the game.a