Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha
New Delhi: Oh captain, my captain! Louis van Gaal will look to hand over the skipper`s arm band to Wayne Rooney as the United stalwart looks destined to prosper under the new role. Rooney loves responsibility and going by the players the Dutchman has under his belt, the England striker is his best bet.
Rooney joined the Red Devils from Everton as a 16-year old in 2004 and since then has been the club`s most successful player. It has been 10 years and on terms of experience, the versatile forward still has plenty to offer in the red shirt. Rooney alongside Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher is the few old faces left in the United squad after veterans Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic left the club this summer. Evergreen Ryan Giggs retired as a player and is currently the assistant manager of the team and a possible future successor of Louis van Gaal.
Rooney`s records suggest he is hungry to deliver and thrive under the Dutchman to carry United back atop after a disastrous campaign last season. Rooney has scored 216 goals so far and is looking to become the club`s highest scorer knowing he has to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton who managed to net 249 goals. Rooney recently cited he wants to don the captain`s role and paid dividends to Van Gaal`s expectations after performing exceptionally well in the tour of USA.
He looks raring to go and also seems to enjoy his role under the new manager. What Van Gaal needs is a confident leader and Rooney ticks all the boxes for the role. He also leads the race to be the new England skipper and therefore his experience counts vital on both accounts.
A happy world class striker is what`s needed to get a club going in its quest for success and the former Everton man looks to have put all his unhappiness and controversies behind him.
Last season he snubbed a move to Chelsea after signing a five-year deal to dedicate his future to the club. With a hefty slary package in the deal, Rooney was criticised to hold United for ransoms but he delivered on the field after scoring 19 goals in the disappointing campaign under former manager David Moyes. Earlier, in 2010 he had a fall out with Sir Alex Ferguson and stated he desired to leave the club. But United did all it took to keep him and Rooney apologised to all the fans and his teammates after signing a new contract back then.
United have held him back twice under Sir Alex and David Moyes as they knew his essence and importance. Rooney has been an influential figure for United and Van Gaal has already taken note of that and will hope to get out the most from him and fellow strike partner Robin van Persie to create the magic Rooney once shared with former teammate Ruud van Nistelrooy.
United start their campaign against Swansea City next weekend in the new Premier League season and United by then will have a new skipper to lead them and well it could be their most pampered player, Wayne Rooney!