Rooney has made 17 appearances in all competitions so far this season, having been awarded the club captaincy at the start of the Dutchman’s reign and has been deployed in both midfield and attack.
But Van Gaal claims Rooney’s selection is “dependable on how the balance in the team is” as United look to continue their recent unbeaten run of 11 games in all competitions.
“I need balance in the team. I’m looking for the balance,” Van Gaal told reporters.
“I hope to perform better because then the game shall be more attractive. I don’t know if I shall use him always because it’s also dependable of the form of the strikers.
“He’s also a very good striker so I can use him on different positions and I like that because I like multi-functional players. I normally buy more multi-functional players than specialists.”
Meanwhile, Van Gaal insists he is looking to build a young core at Old Trafford, having already promoted the likes of Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett and James Wilson to the first-team this season.
“I have had the time to know all my players,” he added. "That’s another exciting time because that’s why I became a manager.
“I want to work with young people. It keeps you young and you can make a team out of it. Now we are still building up and in the process.”