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Louis van Gaal: Marouane Fellaini will continue to play up front

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes an injury to Robin van Persie will not necessarily mean Wayne Rooney moves up front because he has a fifth striker in the form of Marouane Fellaini.

Rooney has been playing in midfield in recent weeks while Fellaini has often been deployed up top as a plan B, most notably against West Ham United earlier this month.

Van Persie may miss the Preston game on Monday night due to injury but van Gaal said Fellaini’s new position means Rooney can stay in the middle of the park.

Speaking about Fellaini and Rooney, van Gaal said: “I am looking for different kinds of strikers and I hope you know I have five now.

“I have to compare and decide where a player has to play to make the biggest contribution and, while I agree that maybe Rooney is better as a striker if I play him there, then I have a problem in midfield.”

With the likes of Angel di Maria, Juan Mata, Daley Blind, Adnan Januzaj and Fellaini on the books at United, van Gaal’s comments on Rooney are puzzling. It is particularly frustrating for United fans given Rooney’s mediocre performances from midfield this season.

Van Gaal has said he is looking for balance in his team but the impressive Ander Herrera continues to occupy the bench despite looking good every time he comes on.

Although United are undoubtedly getting the results they need, performances have to improve if they are to qualify for the Champions League and it is unlikely that they will if Rooney continues in midfield.

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