Louis van Gaal admits he “would consider” dropping Wayne Rooney if he feels it would benefit Manchester United.
Rooney has come in for significant criticism for his performances at United so far this season, scoring just two goals in 10 Premier League games and providing no assists in that timeframe.
The England international has previously been considered as undroppable for the Red Devils, but Van Gaal insists leaving the 30-year-old out of the starting line-up some time soon is a possibility.
“Yes, I would consider it but not only for Wayne,” Van Gaal said. “I have done that for all my players. I have done that, for example with Paddy McNair who was in Ireland last week. When we think it is for the best, I will do that.
“It is not a big issue for me because even when I was a young trainer-coach, I did it at Ajax with Jari Litmanen, he had problems in the months of November and December, so I did it. I sent him on holiday.
“That is not a big issue for me but it is more a big issue for the players. They are not so easy to convince.
“I still have confidence in Rooney. He is a fantastic player but the expectation (on him) is much higher than any other player at another club. You have to also give players time to come back in a certain shape and that is what we are doing.
“He gives more to the team than just goals,” Van Gaal added, presumably sniggering at intimating he offers goals in the first place. “He is our captain and also an example for the whole team. He has more credits than any other player. I have explained that to the group when I arrived.”