Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Wayne Rooney will not be playing against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, following his return from a knee injury.
The 30-year-old forward has been out of action for nearly two months, but he has been back in full training in recent days, hoping to be fully fit for the clash with Spurs.
The Red Devils have impressed in Rooney’s absence, with Marcus Rashford excelling upfront, but as captain of Van Gaal’s side, he is expected to return to the starting line-up when fully fit.
However, that will not be this weekend, as the Dutch coach has confirmed that Rooney will instead be featuring for United’s Under-21s on Monday evening.
The head coach explained: “No (he won’t play at Tottenham), he’s playing for the Under-21s.
“It’s going very well. He has trained with us two times – only two times so it’s not too much. He has to build up his capacity in the 21s team.”
Despite the likelihood of Rooney returning to the starting XI when fit, there have been calls for Van Gaal to stick with his current team as they are performing so well.
They are unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions, and this new strength in depth makes United look like a much more fearsome proposition than they did earlier in the season.
“It makes my job more easy because I can select better, but it makes the time for my players a little bit more difficult,” Van Gaal said, when quizzed about his squad depth.
“There was a time when I could select only the fit players and now with all the youngsters, who have proved that they are capable to play, and with all the players coming back, now I have to select.
“I have a bigger squad so I have said to my players you have to help your colleagues when they are not selected.”