Rooney guaranteed Man Utd starting place, says van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has claimed that as captain, Wayne Rooney will always be guaranteed a place in the starting XI when fit, the Independent has reported.

Despite being made skipper, Rooney’s position in the team has come under some doubt since Radamel Falcao arrived on loan from Monaco on transfer deadline day. If van Gaal continues in his current formation, in now looks as if Robin van Persie will be the man to make way should the Colombian be handed a start at Leicester City on Sunday.

Since returning to the first-team fold in the 1-1 draw at Sunderland on August 24, van Persie has yet to open his account for the season, while Rooney has managed to find the net twice in the Premier League in the opening four games.

And van Gaal, 63, revealed that his captain has ‘privileges’. He said: “Only the captain has more privileges. No other player has privileges. There are always players we put in the line-up in a team – my captain shall always play.”

On van Persie, he added: “I don’t think that Falcao interfered with Van Persie or Van Persie interfered with Falcao. I think Falcao is a very good striker. I also said when he was coming in his first press conference that I like Van Persie also. Then we have Rooney and Januzaj and we have (James) Wilson. We have five players for the two striker positions and I have to choose.”

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