Rooney named new Manchester United captain

Wayne Rooney has been named as Manchester United’s new captain, with Darren Fletcher as vice-captain.

Speculation surrounding Louis van Gaal’s skipper has swarmed since Nemanja Vidic’s switch to Inter in July, with the striker and midfielder both wearing the armband during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.

Rooney has previously outlined his aim to captain United to the title this season as the 13-time Premier League champions look to make amends for last season’s seventh-placed finish and is buoyed by his new role.

“It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club,” he told the club’s official website. “It is a role I will perform with great pride. Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me. I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season.”

Upon the confirmation, Van Gaal hailed Rooney’s professionalism and attitude since he took charge last month and is keen for the striker to act as a role model to the younger members of the squad.

“For me it’s always very important the choice of captain,” Van Gaal said. “Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does. I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy. He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role.

“Darren is a natural leader and will captain the team when Wayne isn’t playing. Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room, I know he will work well alongside Wayne.”

Fletcher added: “I am delighted to have been named as vice-captain. It’s a very proud moment for me and my family. Wayne and I have always worked well together and we will continue to work closely together in our new roles. I would like to thank the manager for putting his trust in me.”