The new Manchester United captain has started the season well, scoring two Premier League goals in the first four games, and grabbed his first assist to set up Ander Herrera last weekend against Queens Park Rangers.
Van Gaal responded to claims in his press conference this afternoon about squad rotation by insisting ‘only the captain has privileges’, suggesting Rooney will continue to play as one of the two strikers alongside either Robin van Persie or latest signing Radamel Falcao.
“There are always players you put in a team,” he said.
“My captain shall always play and normally the goalkeeper.”
Rooney’s place in the first XI has been a contentious issue among certain pockets of United fans for a while now but despite the arrival of Falcao, the England striker’s place in the team seems secure whilst he captains the side.
This is worrying news for Van Persie as the Dutchman has failed to get off the mark this season and has looked sluggish in his three Premier League appearances so far this campaign.
With Falcao vying for a spot in the first XI, Van Persie will have to start firing soon if he wants to continue partnering Rooney up front as opposed to dropping to the bench to accommodate the Colombian striker.