Louis van Gaal thinks Wayne Rooney was still one of his “best players” during his time at Manchester United despite the striker being “over the hill.”
The Dutchman managed a fourth and fifth-placed finish in the Premier League with United but he did achieve some success as he won the FA Cup in his final match in charge.
“I’m sorry but he was over the hill,” Van Gaal said of Rooney in the Guardian.
“But in spite of that he was one of my best players.”
After saying David de Gea was the best player in his time at United, Van Gaal opened up about his best outfield player, he added: “This is significant that I have to think a lot.
“[Luke] Shaw was starting very well but he was kicked out [badly injured] by PSV. Shaw was above average. [Ander] Herrera was above average. He started not so well but he became more important for the team because of his inspiring behaviour and coaching qualities.
“I think that overall Daley Blind was my most consistent player with high qualities for building up the play. [Juan] Mata was also a quality player with a lot of creativity and I was very happy with him because we had a big lack of creative players.
“That’s why we played that, in your eyes, ‘boring football.’ We did not have too many creative players to increase the tempo of the ball and to use more vertical passes. But it was better than parking the bus, I think.
“We were mostly always better than our opponents, but, when your opponent is parking the bus, you need creative players. That’s why I allowed Angel Di María and [Memphis] Depay to come because they were creative players and I think a team needs at least three or four creative players to break down those opponents.”