Does that mean he goes out a lot? Louis van Gaal is as impressed with Wayne Rooney’s social skills as his football skills.
Van Gaal admits that he had preconceptions about Rooney’s character before becoming Manchester United manager but that the England and Reds captain has become an ‘example’ for his professional attitude.
Rooney scored his first away Premier League goal in 11 months at Goodison Park in Saturday’s 3-0 win after calls from some United fans for him to be dropped.
“He is an example for everybody, not only for his team-mates but also for other players from other clubs,” said Van Gaal.
“And also for the manager because he is a very social human being and he has a professional attitude.
“I could not imagine that when I was the coach of the Dutch national team before I came to United. I had heard other things but he has shown a fantastic attitude and I am very happy with him.”
Rooney played as United’s No. 9 at Goodison Park, with Anthony Martial pushed out to the left and Ander Herrera as a No. 10.
“He is always running in behind at the right moment and that is more important [than sheer pace],” he said.
“As a player I was not so fast as Wayne and Wayne is not so fast as Anthony Martial, but when you go at the right time then you are always faster than your opponent. He needed the goal – maybe it’s the start of many.”