Man United boss adamant goalscoring winger can challenge for striker role

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has backed star striker Wayne Rooney, but also revealed that Adnan Januzaj could provide some stiff competition up front, Daily Star reports.

Rooney has looked lacklustre in the Red Devils’ opening two games, failing to find the net as the club’s lone striker.

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Van Gaal allowed both Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao to depart over the summer, and has yet to bring in any additional attackers.

However, the Dutchman is happy with his current crop of forwards, backing England international Rooney to find his feet before adding that Januzaj, who scored against Aston Villa, has the potential to push for a starting place.

He said: “I have always confidence in my players.

“We don’t only have Wayne Rooney in the striker’s position, we have Adnan Januzaj who played in the USA (in pre-season) as a striker.

“I gave him that chance and he showed he can do that.

“We have Chicharito and James Wilson. I don’t think we have a lack of strikers.”

The former Bayern Munich manager also claimed that he does not understand the media’s attack on Rooney’s form, pointing out that last season he was heavily criticized for deploying Rooney in midfield.

“I think all the media has written that for one year and advised me that I have to put Rooney in the striker’s position,” he added.

“So it is amazing after two matches you are doubting your own opinion. I can’t understand that.”

Man United play Club Brugge in the first leg of the Champions League play-off on Tuesday, before facing Newcastle United at Old Trafford this weekend.