Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney contributes much more than goals to the Premier League leaders, according to team-mate Ryan Giggs.
Rooney scored a double in his side’s 3-2 derby win over Manchester City
to extend United’s lead at the top of the table to six points.
The 27-year-old struck twice in the opening period to give Sir Alex Ferguson’s side a dream start, but goals from Yaya Toure and City skipper Pablo Zabaleta hauled the hosts level before Robin van Persie’s last-gasp free kick flew in courtesy of a deflection from Samir Nasri.
The goals brought Rooney’s league tally for the season to just six after doubles against both Stoke City and Reading respectively, while the Dutchman has notched 13 following his summer switch from Arsenal.
But Giggs was quick to claim goals are not the sole measurement of Rooney’s performance.
“Wayne is the kind of player who can score goals but if someone is scoring more, he’s not too bothered,” Giggs told The Sun.
“He’s quite happy setting goals up and pitching in with important goals like he did on Sunday.
“It’s like when Cristiano (Ronaldo) was here. He scored a lot of goals but, like Wayne, he’s not just an out-and-out goalscorer. He’s more than that. Wayne is the catalyst to everything good that we do. He can score goals and make goals.”
Rooney and van Persie have formed a formidable partnership since the latter’s arrival from the Emirates Stadium, helping United to reach the Premier League summit and also cruise through the Champions League group stage, but Giggs insists he expected the Dutchman to make an immediate impact.
“Robin has not surprised me because at 29 I knew he was a ready-made, experienced, world-class player,” he added.
“But he just has that bit of class that can make a difference like it did on Sunday. You see it in training, you see it in games, he’s just a brilliant player.”