Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has conceded he could drop captain Wayne Rooney.
The England international has been in fine goalscoring form this season and has eight goals in 16 Premier League games. However he has been dropped into a deeper midfield role of late to accommodate the likes of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao.
Van Gaal says he is pleased with the 29-year-old's efforts in various positions because it give him more options, but the Manchester United boss says he may be rotated depending on the form of his forwards.
Asked about Rooney's selection by Manchester United's official television station, Van Gaal said: 'It’s dependable on how the balance in the team is. I need balance in the team. I’m looking for the balance.
'I hope to perform better because then the game shall be more attractive. I don’t know if I shall use him always because it’s also dependable of the form of the strikers.
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'He’s also a very good striker so I can use him on different positions and I like that because I like multi-functional players. I normally buy more multi-functional players than specialists.'
Van Gaal also added that his inclination to develop youngsters could also impact upon the Manchester United forward. 'I have had the time to know all my players,' he continued. 'That’s another exciting time because that’s why I became a manager.
'I want to work with young people. It keeps you young and you can make a team out of it. Now we are still building up and in the process.'
After a slow start at Old Trafford, Van Gaal is slowly getting to grips with his team as they look to secure Champions League qualification. They currently sit in third place in the Premier League going into the second half of the season, while they will face Cambridge United in the fourth round of the FA Cup after beating Yeovil over the weekend.
Next up for the Red Devils is a home tie against Southampton.They are likely to be without Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Rafael and Ashley Young for that game, which means an Gaal won't have a single senior full-back to call upon, unless Marcos Rojo returns from injury.