• Premier League

Falcao deal is United show of intent, says Rooney

ESPN staff
September 2, 2014
Wayne Rooney paid tribute to Falcao, while also saying England are ready to start a new chapter © Getty Images

Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United's capture of Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan is a "show of intent" by the Old Trafford club.

The United captain hailed Falcao as one of the best players in the world after the Colombian's deadline-day move from Monaco.

But Rooney, who will also lead England when they take on Norway at Wembley on Wednesday, said he was unsure what the striker's arrival could mean for his position in Louis van Gaal's starting XI.

'You don't turn down Falcao'

Radamel Falcao has moved to Manchester United initially on loan © Getty Images
  • Louis van Gaal says the opportunity to sign Radamel Falcao was too good for Manchester United to turn down amid reports Manchester City and Arsenal rejected the chance to pursue the striker.
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The Dutchman has spent almost £150 million on new players this summer - the biggest transfer spend by a British club in a single transfer window - as he tries to rebuild a United side devastated by a seventh-place finish last season.

"I don't know how Falcao's arrival could affect my role," Rooney said. "I think it is a fantastic signing. He is one of the best players in the world. It is a real show of intent by Manchester United.

"It is a thrill. We have an exciting team. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and I want it to be successful."

Roy Hodgson named Rooney as England captain following the retirement from international football of former talisman Steven Gerrard and the 28-year-old has vowed to give his all in his new role.

"I will be myself in the captain's role," Rooney said. "I am always very demanding of myself in what I expect. Playing for your country, every player has to give their all.

"I have worked under some fantastic captains in the past and I've watched how they have adapted to the role.

"I'll try and take the qualities they have and add my own ingredients in."

Demand for tickets ahead of England's friendly against Norway has been exceptionally low, with the FA expecting an attendance of between 35,000-40,000. That would leave Wembley with around 50,000 empty seats, but Rooney said England were ready to win back the fans.

"Tomorrow is the start of a new chapter," he said. "Last summer [at the World Cup] we were all disappointed, we went in with high hopes, we were expecting better but we have to move on, there is no point looking back.

"We've had retirements but young players coming in and it's exciting.

"I still think the crowd is going to be good, around about 40,000, and if you look around Europe it's still one of the highest there is. "Obviously it is a bit lower than normal but we expected that, the World Cup was disappointing and it's a backlash from that.

We want to make sure the crowd know we are giving everything we can to win the game tomorrow and on Monday [the first Euro qualifier against Switzerland]."

"It's exciting times. The Italy game and the Uruguay game [at the World Cup] were really disappointing results but I thought we did well in both games.

We showed some great signs of attacking football and the lads have hopefully gained some vital experience and we can go out and play some attractive football."

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