Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is unconcerned by Wayne Rooney’s goal drought in the Premier League, insisting his captain has “been a little unlucky” this season.
Rooney found the net in the midweek League Cup win over Ipswich, having already hit a hat-trick for his club in Champions League action earlier in the campaign.
He also scored twice on international duty in September, with successful penalties against San Marino and Switzerland taking him past Sir Bobby Charlton to become England’s all-time leading scorer.
Yet the 29-year-old has not registered a league goal since April, a barren run that could stretch beyond 1,000 minutes if he does not score at home against Sunderland on Saturday.
“I don’t think that is an issue for him, for me or for the club, so he shall score also in the Premier League. That I am convinced of, and you shall see it,” Van Gaal said.
“He has already scored four goals this season, but as a player and as a manager you can never know why he has not scored in the league.
“The goals that he scored against Bruges were excellent, especially the first goal, with his movement and then the chip to beat the goalkeeper.
“But he has been a little bit unlucky (in the league) and I can give you an example – against Newcastle, he scored and it was not offside but it was cancelled.
“But you cannot manage the referee. The referee is independent.”
While Rooney has found goals hard to come by, in league action at least, Anthony Martial cannot stop scoring for his new employers.
The young Frenchman has netted four times in as many games since arriving from Monaco and Van Gaal believes his arrival will only benefit Rooney, as it allows him to play as a second striker.
“I have been saying many, many times that I want speed, I want creativity and that’s why we bought Memphis Depay and why we bought Martial also,” the Dutchman added
“But I think that Wayne can play a lot of positions. He has shown that last season.
“I want to play with a first striker and a second striker and maybe they are a very good duo together. We shall wait and see.”