Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Wayne Rooney gives seal of approval for return of Manchester United icon

A potential return to Manchester United for Robin van Persie has been supported by Wayne Rooney, who has labelled the United icon  a “great character.”

With Erik ten Hag thought to be in pole position to succeed Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United, he has been tipped to bring with him a Dutch coach. Ruud van Nistelrooy was reported to be in the running to join ten Hag, but the former United striker has agreed to take over at PSV Eindhoven.

Van Nistelrooy, 45, has worked with various age-group teams at the Eredivisie club. And he was also Holland’s assistant at the European Championships last summer. But he will now replace current boss Roger Schmidt at the expiration of his contract this summer.

But another former Dutch star, who held legendary status at Old Trafford, has been mentioned as a contender to arrive with Ten Hag.

Van Persie referred to United as “home” in 2016 ahead of Fenerbahce’s Champions League clash with United. And the Daily Express reports  that the former Arsenal man is a contender to arrive with Ten Hag.

What’s more Derby County boss Rooney has endorsed his potential return to the club.

“Robin – great character, great player,” Rooney said. “So much ability.”

Rooney also recalled the time when he assisted Van Persie for “the best Premier League goal” in history.

Brutal Rooney tells Rashford to stay and break his Manchester United record

Brutal Rooney tells Rashford to stay and break his Manchester United record

Wayne Rooney put out a brutal challenge to Marcus Rashford to break his Manchester United goal scoring record


Aston Villa were beaten at Old Trafford and Van Van Persie scored a hat-trick to secure the Premier League title in 2013. His second goal was a moment of brilliance though as he netted with a wonderful volley from the edge of the box after Rooney had picked him out from the halfway line.

Rooney-Van Persie wondergoal

“We worked on that in training,” Rooney added. “It was probably the best goal in my opinion that there has been in the Premier League.”


Van Persie retired in 2019, aged 35 and rejoined Feyenoord as a striker coach in August 2020.

He was then promoted  to Under-16 assistant manager after working part-time and coached his son Shaqueel.

Van Persie is currently the assistant coach of Feyenoord.

If Ten Hag is appointed as United boss, and he has been interviewed along with two other candidates, then he will have a decision to make over his backroom team.

There’s no doubt an experienced head with regards to Premier League football would be a useful acquisition to Ten Hag.

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