Louis van Gaal convinced to sign Marcos Rojo at World Cup

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Louis van Gaal has revealed he was convinced to sign Marcos Rojo after analysing a video of his performances during the World Cup.

The Argentina international completed his transfer from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United this week. Louis van Gaal spoke about the £16 million deal for the first time in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Red Devil's game against Sunderland.


Van Gaal said he first took notice of Rojo's ability in the build up to Holland's semi-final tie against Argentina at the World Cup. The Dutchman analysed the defender and admitted his on-field antics left him enchanted.

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The Manchester United boss told reporters: "I played against him in the World Cup so I had to analyse Argentina. In that video I was already enthusiastic about him."

Fits the philosophy

Rojo, who can operate as either a left-back or a centre-back, has the versatility required to succeed in Van Gaal's 3-5-2 formation. Van Gaal confirmed it was Rojo's ability to switch seamlessly from one position to the other that convinced him to pay so much to secure his services.

He added: "My philosophy is you should only buy players who fit in the profile. Marcos fits in the profile as a central defender and as a left wing-back. He played for Argentina as a wing-back but in Sporting Lisbon he played as a central defender.

"He shall fit into our profile and he played a fantastic championship. I'm very pleased."

Control aggression

Although singing his praises in the press conference, Van Gaal also revealed he has had to fire several warnings towards Rojo as the Argentinian prepares to tackle life in the Premier League. Although arriving from Portugal with high expectations, Rojo's disciplinary record is far from impressive.

The 24-year-old has received five yellow cards in two years and Van Gaal has highlighted Rojo's aggression as one of several areas which need improvement.

"He needs a lot of brain, to be aware of the spaces because we are defending spaces," Van Gaal added.

"That's the first word I used to him. He has to be a very good header because there are always those long balls.

"I like the way he played in the World Cup, so that's also very important, to be built up. He has to be aggressive in the right moment. When I have to say something about him to criticise, maybe that's it. He has to control himself."

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