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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Aug 14, 2014

RvP choice 'would have been disaster'

The ESPN FC crew question Louis van Gaal's decision to make Wayne Rooney captain of Manchester United this season.

Louis van Gaal's decision to pick Wayne Rooney as his Manchester United captain has been backed by former Old Trafford striker Dwight Yorke, who said appointing Robin van Persie would have been a "disaster."

- Okwonga: Rooney a pragmatic choice

Van Gaal announced Rooney as the new United captain shortly after Tuesday night's friendly win over Valencia, with Darren Fletcher also being named vice-captain.

Van Persie was captain of the Netherlands team which reached the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup under Van Gaal and he was seen as another contender for the United armband. However, Yorke believes Rooney was the obvious choice.

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As we count down to kickoff on Aug. 16, ESPN FC previews all 20 teams in this season's competition. Can Burnley, QPR and Leicester stay up? Will the new signings of Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Adam Lallana help usurp Man City's crown? Will Manchester United get back on track under Louis van Gaal?

"I think it's a fantastic move for the club and fantastic for Wayne too," Yorke told The Sun. "He's been at the club 10 years this month, he remains the best player and for me he epitomises Manchester United.

"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.

"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 preseason and for me he was the obvious choice.

"It came as no surprise to me when Wayne was appointed. Van Gaal has been at the club for a month now and watched him close up. He will have realised what Wayne Rooney is all about.

"Until you actually get in to a club, see how it works, what the players are like, you can't make a fair assessment."

Rooney and Van Perise have scored 67 Premier League goals for United between them over the past two seasons.

Rooney's appointment has caused a stir with some United fans, with the striker having handed in a transfer request at the club in May 2013.

However, after being installed as captain under Van Gaal, Yorke believes the England forward is settled at the club and will relish being given the armband.

"Wayne has been a captain before. He knows what it's all about and I believe he'll relish the responsibility," Yorke said.

"It's a huge honour to be named as the permanent captain of this great club, not many people have done it. I was made captain of my country and I can't tell you how good it makes you feel to get the armband."

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