Louis van Gaal believes Wayne Rooney is playing well, otherwise he would be dropped

In the worst season of Wayne Rooney's career, the English striker has the backing of his manager, again.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has given his public support for Rooney, as he has done on many occasions this season, and believes he is adding a lot to the team.

United fans have seen Rooney quickly digress this season, although occasionally producing moments of magic like a hattrick against Club Brugge in August. 

Many have suggested he is only remaining in the starting line-up due to his role as captain, and in a difficult season for United so far, Rooney has become a part-time scapegoat for his frustrated fans at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal believes Rooney has a 'great contribution'

"Wayne is doing a lot, has a very great contribution in the team. I am very satisfied with him," Van Gaal said.

When drawn on whether Rooney deserves his first team spot on performances, not captaincy, Van Gaal added: "Yes, of course. Otherwise, he is out of the team.

"At this moment, he doesn't play in the striker's position, [Anthony] Martial is playing there. But it is possible he shall play other matches there.

"It depends not always on the quality and shape of the player at the moment, but also the game plan."

United travel to first place Leicester City on Saturday evening, win takes them top of the table

Wayne Rooney needs to get back on track, even when he has returned to scoring ways, support has not been forthcoming from the Manchester United fans. A run of consecutive goals would aid that.

The captain needs to help his side bounce back from a disappointing 0-0 draw against PSV Eindhoven when they travel to surprise title contenders Leicester City on Saturday evening in a first - second clash.