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“I was devastated” – Rooney insists Man United “should have kept” divisive figure at Old Trafford

Former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney has suggested that United made a huge mistake by sacking Louis van Gaal after his second season in charge at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal won the FA Cup in his second season as manager of the Red Devils and according to Rooney, the Dutchman shouldn’t have been axed just 24 hours after lifting the trophy.

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Rooney who is currently a player-coach at Derby has hailed Van Gaal’s influence on him and has suggested that the Dutch manager is one of the best managers he’s played under.

Rooney was appointed club captain by Van Gaal during their time together at United and the striker has suggested in a new book about the Dutchman, as quoted by the Mirror, that he was very grateful to the manager for making him captain.

“I was devastated when Louis was sacked,” he said. “For me, it was an absolute joy to work with him.

“We should have kept him for a third season. We would have been so much stronger.

“I felt things were improving and players started to understand his vision. In those two years, I learned more than under any other manager.

“This is why I will be forever grateful to him. Not just for making me captain, but also for all the trust and belief he had in me.

“We didn’t have the best team in the league anyway, but we could not afford to have 12 players injured.

“Our best XI was good enough to play in the top four, but once we got injuries we got in trouble ­because we did not have the same quality in the squad as in the years before.”

Despite winning the FA Cup, Van Gaal was sacked by the United hierarchy in his second season and the Dutchman never returned to management since his two-year stint at Old Trafford, only to announce his retirement in 2019.

Nevertheless, Rooney’s comments will surely go down well with the Dutchman who made a huge impression on the former England international during their time together at Man United.

We’re not sure most United fans would agree, however, as LVG was never exactly the most popular figure among supporters due to the team’s perceived dull playing style during his time in charge.

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