Louis van Gaal: Man United need to play Wayne Rooney in midfield

Louis van Gaal admits Wayne Rooney is Manchester United's best striker

Louis van Gaal says Wayne Rooney is Manchester United’s best striker but the Red Devils need to play their captain in midfield.

The Dutchman has been criticised in recent weeks for wasting the 29-year-old in a deep role, as Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie struggle to find prolific form.

The England captain has scored a respectable eight goals in 23 appearances in all competitions this season despite his new midfield role in the United side.

And the Red Devils manager, who signed a three-year deal to take over the reins at Old Trafford last May, defended his decision to deploy Rooney in an orthodox role.

“Rooney is maybe our best striker, but I am playing him in midfield because I have to look at which players make the biggest contribution and in what position,” Van Gaal is quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

“While I agree that maybe Rooney is better as a striker if I play him there, then I have a problem in midfield.”

Rooney is expected to captain United as the 20-time English champions make the short trip to Preston North End in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday night.

United have already beaten League One side Yeovil Town and League Two outfit Cambridge Town en route to the FA Cup fifth round.

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