Wednesday 21 March 2018

Fit-again Rooney poised to join Red Devils' 500 club

Wayne Rooney looks set to make his 500th as a Man Utd player this afternoon Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire
Wayne Rooney looks set to make his 500th as a Man Utd player this afternoon Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire

Mark Ogden

Wayne Rooney will become only the 10th player to make 500 appearances for Manchester United today after Louis van Gaal confirmed that the striker is fit to return to action against Norwich following an ankle injury.

The 30-year-old has missed United's last three games, which have seen Van Gaal's team lose twice and draw once, as a result of the injury sustained during the 1-1 draw at Leicester three weeks ago.

But with United aiming to ease the pressure on Van Gaal by ending a run of five games without a win, the Dutchman revealed that Rooney, Chris Smalling and Ander Herrera are all in contention to return against Alex Neil's team.

"There are more or less three players who have trained this week, for a full week, so that's not bad," Van Gaal said.

"The players who have trained this week are Rooney, Herrera, Smalling and Ashley Young is also coming back I think, but we have to wait and see.

"We have to decide if they can play or not, but I hope that, when Wayne plays, he scores a goal, as it is a big day for him because it is his 500th game and not too many players have reached that record."

Rooney has scored seven goals this season, though only two of those have come in the Premier League and Van Gaal said that in "normal" circumstances he would not consider bringing the England captain back.

Rooney's return will alleviate the pressure on French forward Anthony Martial, who has struggled to replicate his early form at the club in recent weeks.

But despite James Wilson's impressive start to his loan spell at Brighton, where he has scored twice in four games, Van Gaal insists he has no immediate plans to recall the 20-year-old from the Championship club.

Independent News Service

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