Van Gaal: Rojo must control himself

The Argentine has earned a reputation as a hot-head during his career to date, and his new manager says he has to improve how he reacts to certain situations
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says new signing Marcos Rojo has to improve his temperament, but believes he is the right man to get him into shape.
PROFILE: Meet new Manchester United signing Marcos Rojo
Rojo has picked up 20 yellow cards and four reds in his last two Primeira Liga campaigns with former club Sporting, and has been known to act petulantly during matches throughout his career.

But Van Gaal has outlined what he expects from the 24-year-old, who completed his £16 million move this week, in his new system.

"First of all he needs a lot of brain, to be aware of spaces, because we are defending spaces, and this is the first words I used to him," he told reporters. "And he has to be very good in the air, because in the Premier League it is always long balls, and also his build-up has to be good, and I like the way he played in the world championship.

"He has to be aggressive in the right moment, and when I have to say something about him.... when I have to criticise him, maybe that is it [the right moment], he has to control himself at every moment, maybe he can improve that and maybe I can help him."

The Dutchman has been in the market for specific players to fit into his 3-5-2 formation this summer, and explained why Rojo fits the bill.

"I think Marcos fits the profile as a left central defender but also as a left wing-back, he played for Argentina as a left wing-back but for Sporting as a left centre-back, so I think he shall fit in our profile, he had a fantastic world championship, so I am very pleased," he added.

But Van Gaal did warn that, like the rest of his squad, Rojo is having to adapt to new methods in Manchester, as well as a new culture in general.

"I have to drive at this moment on the left, and then I have to pay a lot of attention, to drive properly, it costs me a lot of energy, so this player also, because he comes from abroad, he don't speak any words of English, he has to adapt to a new culture, new philosophy, it's not so easy, it takes time," he continues.

"For Marcos and also for the other players. You have to believe in it, and maybe my CV can convince them. But you have to believe in the philosophy that we can make a big club, but it is not an overnight job."

Rojo himself revealed that he has received welcome messages from Pablo Zabaleta, Sergio Aguero and Martin Demichelis, his three Argentina team-mates currently plying their trade at Manchester City.

"Yes, they sent me a message congratulating me, they welcomed me to Manchester, we know each other outside of football as well so we have been in contact."