Louis van Gaal risked a “disaster” if he had appointed Robin van Persie as the captain of Manchester United, so says Dwight Yorke, who believes the manager came to the correct decision by promoting Wayne Rooney to the esteemed position.
Rooney vs Van Persie
Rooney had long been the leading contender to become captain after it was announced the role would be vacated by Nemanja Vidic, but the departure of David Moyes before the end of last season made this far more uncertain.
Van Persie soon emerged as favourite for the armband after Van Gaal was named Moyes’ successor, with the striker having been given the responsibility by the same manager during their time spent together with the Netherlands.
But with Van Persie afforded an extended holiday following his World Cup exertions, Rooney was able to seize the opportunity to highlight his captaincy credentials during Manchester United’s pre-season trip to the USA.
Rooney impressed his new manager immensely on this tour as Manchester United triumphed in all of their encounters, and the 28-year-old’s attitude on the field convinced Van Gaal that he was the ideal successor to Vidic.
It is a decision that arrived as a relief to Yorke, the former Manchester United striker, who believes Van Persie would have assumed the role completely undeservedly had Van Gaal gone in that direction.
Yorke thankful RVP missed out
“To me appointing Van Persie would have been a disaster. Yes, he’s done it for Holland and Arsenal - but he’s only been at United for five minutes,” Yorke told The Sun.
“Wayne has played such a huge part of their success. He’s a major figure in that dressing room. He’s worked under some great United captains and he’ll know all about how they did the job.
“Rooney is the most senior person there, you look at his form and the way he’s conducted himself pre-season and for me he was the obvious choice.”
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The right choice?
It seems like something of an exaggeration from Yorke given that Van Persie has proven himself to be a competent captain at Arsenal and with his country, and there is no doubt he would have thrived in the role at Old Trafford.
But Rooney does seem like the right choice. There is a sense he will flourish with this added responsibility, and his performances during pre-season suggest Van Gaal can get the best out of him.
Rooney leads by example and a fine personal campaign, something he appears primed to produce, would be the ideal way to dispel any doubts that he was the correct appointment from the new Manchester United manager.