A troubled week for Louis van Gaal off the pitch looks to be getting worse with news emerging that his captain Wayne Rooney will be ruled out of Manchester United’s massive derby game against Liverpool on Saturday teatime.
The Manchester Evening News are claiming a no-show at the team’s hotel by Rooney on the eve of the Red Devils’ Premier League showdown against their great rivals, is due to a hamstring injury that will see him sidelined.
It’s a bitter blow for Van Gaal at the end of a turbulent week where some apparently disgruntled members of his squad have voiced dissatisfaction with the Dutchman’s regime and in particular his treatment of Rafael da Silva who was moved on this summer.
Now LVG has a real selection dilemma on his hands up front for the crunch Old Trafford encounter, with James Wilson thought to be finalising a loan move to Derby and 19-year-old signing Anthony Martial the only other recognised striker available.
There is the option to push Marouane Fellaini into an advanced role against Brendan Rodgers’ men, or even Memphis Depay, though given the enormous initial outlay of £36m on Monaco teenager Martial, some United fans will want to see the new signing step in.
It’s a huge decision for Van Gaal, as games don’t come any bigger in the Premier League, and although early in the season the result feels pivotal given the sides are locked on seven points apiece.
Frenchman Martial scored 12 goals in 46 appearances for Monaco last season, with 10 of those arriving from March onwards to make the likes of United take note.
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