Louis van Gaal names Wayne Rooney as Manchester United’s new captain
Darren Fletcher’s longevity at Manchester United made him a frontrunner, while Robin van Persie’s connection to new manager Louis van Gaal cast him as a logical choice, too. Yet given his stature at the club, Wayne Rooney always had a prominent place in the discussion about the team’s next captain.
Today, the long-time Red Devil attacker was given the captain’s armband, with the team’s new boss selecting the 28-year-old Rooney to succeed the departed Nemanja Vidic.
“It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club, Rooney said, via the club’s website. “It is a role I will perform with great pride.”
Vidic, name the club captain in the wake of Gary Neville, left for Inter Milan this spring after declining to sign a new deal with the club. While Rooney had expressed his hope of being named captain, Fletcher is the club’s longest tenured player, while van Persie was given the captaincy of his national team when van Gaal assumed the Netherlands’ national team job.
Praising the approach Rooney’s brought to the preseason, van Gaal decided on the England international, calling him an inspiration to the younger players in the squad. From the team’s web site:
Rooney, who joined United from Everton in 2004, will make his debut as permanent captain this weekend against Swansea City. His words:
Van Gaal also named Fletcher the club’s vice-captain, with the Scotland international calling the appointment “a very proud moment for me and my family.”