Louis van Gaal says Wayne Rooney is still influential for Man United despite lack of goals

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has given star forward Wayne Rooney his full support ahead of the club’s trip to Goodison Park to take on Everton this afternoon, the Metro reports.

The 29-year-old has come in for some heavy criticism recently due to his lack of form so far this season, as he has only found the net once in the 3-0 victory over Sunderland last month.

United will now make the short trip to Liverpool to take on Rooney’s former club in what is certain to be a continuation of hotly contested battles between the two sides.

Rooney missed the international break through injury, but will return to the United side in a dismal run of form that has seen him score just once in his previous 13 Premier League games, and he is yet to score in an away game for the best part of a year.

But despite that, van Gaal backs Rooney to still play a crucial role in United’s season.

“He’s our captain so that’s very important because his influence is bigger than every other player in our group. He’s a very important player for me, his colleagues, everybody,” he told ESPN.

“He’s a second striker,’ he added. ‘Our No. 10 is a second striker. That’s what my preference is but sometimes I need another type in midfield. We’ll have to see if he continues with that because Wayne can play in different positions.

“He’s scored for us in the Champions League. So for me it is not so important who is scoring. We have scored a lot of goals. In the beginning your criticism was we don’t score goals, but now we’ve scored a lot of goals and you’re picking up an individual player and I don’t like that.”

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