Manchester United coach Louis Van Gaal has revealed that striker Wayne Rooney will start against Southampton on Sunday.
The 29-year-old has missed games against Liverpool and PSV due to a hamstring strain, but the Dutch tactician has revealed that his star forward has made significant progress this week.
Given that it was only a minor problem, Van Gaal is confident that Rooney will be able to make his comeback after holding him out as a precaution, but that isn’t the only concern for the Red Devils.
Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial have deputised for the England captain during his absence, with the latter in particular shining after his goal against Liverpool to secure a 3-1 victory over Brendan Rodgers’ men.
Given Rooney’s current goal-scoring troubles in the Premier League, it remains to be seen whether or not his return has a positive impact on the side, as it could raise questions over Martial’s demotion back to the bench.
The 19-year-old seemingly made a positive impact during his first two appearances for the club, but Van Gaal had little option but to draft him into the starting line-up given the injury to Rooney.
Now that his first-choice forward is ready to return to the fray, it could risk having an impact on Martial’s development and confidence, but the priority will undoubtedly be getting Rooney back scoring and leading the side in his lone striker role.
As reported by Sky Sports, Van Gaal also revealed that Luke Shaw was feeling much stronger after he underwent surgery on his broken leg.
The England international is a doubt to return this season due to the severity of the problem, but Van Gaal insisted that he was in a good place both physically and mentally and backed him to come back stronger.