The Manchester United boss feels that Rooney is still the top English striker
Louis Van Gaal has decided to somewhat stoke the fires ahead of his side's clash with Spurs tomorrow, by claiming Wayne Rooney is still England's top striker.
In recent weeks the debate about who should lead the English line in the European Championships has intensified following a lengthy injury lay-off for the United forward and the dazzling form of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy in front of goal.
However, the 31 year old made his return from injury in a recent u-21 game, and Van Gaal firmly believes he is still Roy Hodgson's go to man.
"When you see his record, he is the best striker," said the Dutch coach.
"‘Kane is a very good striker but he hasn’t scored yet against us," he continued.
"When I say that I am challenging him also, so it’s not so smart of me.
"It always depends on their form. Normally, Rooney (right) is the best striker but how many has Kane scored in total? That counts for a striker, and also for Wayne."
Kane has hit the net 25 times so far this season for Spurs, compared to Rooney's 14, but Van Gaal still believes the return of Rooney to the side will be enough to propel United to a top four finish and FA Cup glory.
"He has to be fit in the first place. Secondly, I have to compare him with the players who are playing.
"He can be so good that I shall be forced to give him a position in the team. When I saw him training yesterday, for example, he scored a goal. He made a fantastic chip over the goalkeeper. It was his first training session and I said to him, “I have never seen that this season”.
"But he has only trained two times with us and you cannot predict how his injury evolved. I have to see the Under-21 game against Middlesbrough.
"Let’s wait and see if he plays 60 minutes at a lower level, and then he can play against West Ham United. You never know."