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Neville: “LVG has transformed Rooney”

Wayne RooneyGary Neville has described Louis Van Gaal’s transformation of Wayne Rooney as a “fantastic achievement”, adding the Dutchman’s influence on the England captain was tangible.

After a spell as central midfielder this season, Rooney has been restored as centre-forward and he has been instrumental to United’s turnaround in fortunes over the last month.

“Having played with Wayne Rooney for 3 or 4 years, having worked with him with England for three or four years, he’s a street football player, he can chase the ball, wants to get involved, wants to get everywhere on the pitch,” Neville said.

“I think Louis van Gaal must have him on a lead in training, [saying] ‘that’s not your position, that’s not what you’re there to do’.

“He runs back up straight in between Manchester City’s two centre backs and he’s in position. Now, that is a big achievement by Louis van Gaal, trust me.”

The former United captain added Van Gaal deserved praise for ensuring Rooney remained tactically disciplined throughout the 90 minutes.

“To get that player to play like that, the way he plays the game, you usually see him charging down channels, you usually see him dropping back into midfield, if he doesn’t get the ball for five minutes he’ll go and get the ball because that’s the type of player he is,” explained Neville.

“It’s a fantastic achievement by Louis van Gaal.

“Watching him yesterday [Sunday], it really did become a silent domination of City’s centre backs. I would think he may have watched that game and he might think that’s Wayne Rooney’s best performance for Manchester United.”