Van Gaal names Wayne Rooney as Manchester United captain
Scot Darren Fletcher is the club’s new vice captain following departure of Patrice Evra to Juventus
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney in action during a pre-season friendly against Valencis at Old Trafford, Manchester on Tuesday August 12, 2014: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
The move follows the departure of former captain Nemanja Vidic to Inter Milan during the summer.
It was also announced that midfielder Darren Fletcher is to be the club’s new vice-captain following the departure of former vice-captain Patrice Evra to Juventus “for personal reasons”.
It had been suggested Van Gaal might opt for fellow Dutchman Robin van Persie for the role due to the close relationship enjoyed by the pair and Van Persie’s effectiveness as Van Gaal’s skipper during his period at the helm of the Dutch national team.
In a statement released by the club last night however, Van Gaal said it was the 28-year-old Englishman who would lead the club during the coming season, which begins against Swansea City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
“For me it’s always very important the choice of captain,” said Van Gaal. “Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does. I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy. He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role.”
Speaking about Darren Fletcher, Van Gaal said the Scot was “a natural leader” who would captain the team in Rooney’s absence. “Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room,” he said. “I know he will work well alongside Wayne.”
Wayne Rooney said the captaincy was “a huge honour” for himself and his family to be named captain “of this great club”.
“It is a role I will perform with great pride,” he said. “Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me. I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season.”
Darren Fletcher said he was “delighted” to have been named as vice-captain. “It’s a very proud moment for me and my family,” he said. “Wayne and I have always worked well together and we will continue to work closely together in our new roles. I would like to thank the manager for putting his trust in me.”