Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes Wayne Rooney is still the man to lead England at Euro 2016 as the forward he approaches his club comeback.
Rooney is under increasing pressure, both for club and country, with the emergence of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford at Old Trafford, as well as Tottenham and Leicester City stars Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy in the national team.
But Van Gaal believes Rooney, 31, remains the pick of the bunch.
“Normally he is the best striker, but Harry Kane, how many has he scored? That also counts for a striker and also for Wayne,” he told reporters on Friday.
“So, it’s also dependable on your team how they are playing, so you cannot say that he is the best so easily. But when you see his record he is the best striker.
“I think that Wayne is a player who is always doing his utmost best.
“He is the easiest player for a manager because he is always doing everything to continue. Sometimes it is more difficult for him, but he shall do always is utmost best
“I don’t think there is a difference if there is a European Championship or not because he is always doing his best.”
The United and England captain will not make his comeback from injury against Tottenham on Sunday, as his club side face a crucial battle at White Hart Lane, but he could be in contention for the FA Cup quarter-final replay against West Ham United.
“I cannot say that because when I saw him training yesterday [Thursday] for example he scored a goal, he made a fantastic chip over the goalkeeper,” the United manager said.
“It was his first training session and I said to him ‘I have never seen that this season.
“He can be so good that I shall be forced to give him a position in the team. But it depends on what we see over the next days. Let’s wait if he plays 60 minutes at a lower level and then he can play against West Ham United, you never know.”
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