Thursday, July 20, 2017

Van Gaal buoyed by Rooney return

SoccerNews in English Premier League 19 Sep 2015

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hopes captain Wayne Rooney’s return from a hamstring injury can inspire his side in front of goal.

United are set to welcome back the striker for Sunday’s trip to Southampton, with the England international having missed the last two outings against Liverpool and PSV.

Rooney has yet to score in the Premier League this term – his only club goals coming in the Champions League second-leg victory over Club Brugge – with United having found the target just six times in their opening five league games.

However, Van Gaal backed Rooney to inspire his fellow strikers, including new-boy Anthony Martial, who registered on his debut against Liverpool last weekend.

“[Rooney] scored against Brugge,” Van Gaal said.

“He scored. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Premier League or the Champions League. I was very happy when we scored more goals.

“We have to score more. When you are so dominant as we are, in all the matches, we have to win these games.”

Rooney became England’s leading goalscorer during the international break, surpassing United legend Bobby Charlton to move to 50 goals for his country.

The 29-year-old is 16 goals off matching Charlton’s record of 249 in United colours, with Van Gaal adding: “He has a range of scoring goals, like [Juan] Mata, Memphis [Depay], Martial, [Marouane] Fellaini.

“You can count all the goals he’s made. In my memory, Rooney has scored a lot.

“He’s nearly the record holder so I hope he will beat that record but I have to wait and see.”

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