The Dutch coach has called for the 28-year-old to repeat his US tour performances when the Premier League gets underway and insists he is yet to meet with Sir Alex Ferguson
With Nemanja Vidic having left the club for Inter in the summer, the England striker was announced as his replacement three days ago, while Darren Fletcher took up the vice-captain role.
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When asked why he selected the 28-year-old forward as his skipper, the Dutch coach said: "His attitude, of course. That is more on the pitch and on the training ground. Not so much off the pitch but I have explained to him that off the pitch is also very important to me.
"He accepted the responsibility and I like him very much: how he trained and also how he performed in the games, how he performed to his fellow players.
"On Tuesday, I said to him that maybe it is too much for him to be captain. But let it fly, I said, let it fly. In the US, he scored a lot of goals and made a great amount of assists. I want to see that Wayne."
Van Gaal has also insisted that he is yet to meet Sir Alex Ferguson since arriving at the club. He added: "No, until this moment I have not found the time to do that and I do not know if he is at home.
"He called off [going on tour] but I have also been very busy. That is the reason."