Van Gaal: Falcao can do a better job up front than Rooney

Wayne Rooney

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal says that he thinks Radamel Falcao can do a better job than Wayne Rooney up front.

Louis van Gaal has backed Radamel Falcao to perform better than Wayne Rooney up-front.

The Manchester United captain was forced to play in attacking midfield against Leicester City at the weekend, rather than in his usual starting position up-front, to accommodate Falcao.

Van Gaal believes this is because his new Colombian attacker can offer United an improvement on the performances that Rooney has given so far. 

"We have played well but can improve and I was not so satisfied with Rooney as a striker... and that’s why I’m changing," he said to the Guardian.

“Rooney can play in more positions, he’s a multi-functional player and I have tried him in a striker’s position. He’s played well but not spectacular and Falcao is a striker and I think he can do it better.”

Rooney has only two goals to his name so far this campaign and the hope is that Falcao can provide a more potent outlet up front.

On his day, the Monaco loanee is a more direct forward than Rooney is and he has shown a greater clinical edge in-front of goal.

Rooney is likely to break United's scoring record before he retires, but there has always been a feeling that he could play in a deeper role than his usual striking one as he gets older and this is the clearest indication that Van Gaal plans to start moving him away from the front-line.

Falcao's inclusion in the starting line-up did not have the desired impact against Leicester, mind, and if United's struggles continue then Rooney may find himself playing in a more familiar position sooner rather than later.

The powerhouse forward had a decent game, but United's defence crumbled under pressure and the side fell to a concerning 5-3 defeat. 

It has led to questions being raised once again of their top four credentials and Van Gaal will know that his new attacking additions need to hit the ground running to compensate for the defensive worries in the squad if they are to meet expectations. 

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch