Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal explains his striking priorities

Wayne Rooney

The Manchester United manager says he is putting the team ahead of individuals

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has stressed that he is comparing his strikers by their qualities and not their goal return, reports the club’s official site.

United’s forwards have not been in the finest form this season, with Robin van Persie the only one to hit double figures and Radamel Falcao not proving to be his old ruthless self.

Elsewhere, captain Wayne Rooney has been deployed in a midfield role for his side, but is yet to register a single shot on target, never mind a goal, in 2015, while youngster James Wilson is also vying for a place.

Van Gaal has also used Maroune Fellaini up front this season and insists he is assessing the bigger picture and not focussing on their goal return.

"I am looking for different kinds of strikers," said the Dutchman.

“I have five strikers as you know. I have to choose between Falcao, van Persie and all the other strikers I have, then it is my consideration and that is different.”

There have been a number of debates about Rooney returning to his former position, with England manager Roy Hodgson recently saying he sees his international captain as a striker rather than a midfielder, quoted by Sky Sports.

That is not an opinion that the Manchester United manager disagrees with, instead saying that he has said the same thing on multiple occasions before now. However, he insists that he must consider what is more important for the team rather than an individual.

"He [Hodgson] has to compare Rooney with other strikers in his line-up and that is another consideration I have to make,” added Van Gaal.

"Rooney is maybe the best striker, I have explained that already a lot of times. I have to look at where each player can make the biggest contribution. It's the composition, which is more important than the individual player.”

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