Louis van Gaal has officialy named England international Wayne Rooney as the new captain of Manchester United. The striker takes over the role from the Serbian centre-back Nemanja Vidic. He moved to Inter Milan this summer, after turning down several offers from ‘The Red Devils’.
Rooney was named captain during the International Champions Cup final against Liverpool for the first time under the Dutchman. He guided his team to a 3-1 victory, contributing with an excellent goal to deny Steven Gerrard lifting the cup.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a great preseason, scoring five goals, as he is adjusting very well in van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation. Rooney’s excellent preseason could be one of the reasons why Van Gaal has decided to give him the United captaincy.
Another reason could be that he is a player of ‘the English style’, as Van Gaal also admitted after the win over Liverpool. Rooney has been wearing the red kit since he signed for the club back in 2004.
However, at first it appeared obvious that Louis van Gaal would appoint Robin van Persie as his captain at Manchester United. Both already know each other and have developed a special bond this summer. Clearly highlighted by the celebratory high five after Van Persie scored his cracking header against Spain during the 2014 World Cup.
So, it would have made sense for Van Gaal to hand his fellow citizen the United armband. Nevertheless, the manager decided to keep faith in Rooney, which will inspire him to give his best this season.
Furthermore, he is old enough to be captain and his work-rate on the pitch can be an inspiration for his younger team-mates. He has won five Premier League titles in his time at United, in addition to the Champions League in 2008. He currently stands third – behind Charlton and Denis Law – on the list of all-time top scorers at the club with 216, as reported by the BBC.
Rooney’s valuable experience will help the team to play a part in this year’s title-challenge ,as they will try to revenge themselves. Captain Rooney will have to command his team to victory. While one thing is clear; he has earned the promotion.