Former England international Chris Waddle says goal-shy Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is best suited to a playmaking role and has called on Louis van Gaal to sign a world-class striker to lead the Red Devils attack.

Rooney, 29, has struggled to make an impact as a lone forward for United this season and is yet to find the back of the net despite starting all three of the club's fixtures.

Waddle believes the Red Devils need to sign a "top-class" striker before the transfer window closes so that captain Wayne Rooney can play as a number 10.

United sold Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce earlier in the summer while Radamel Falcao has also left the club, leaving Javier Hernandez and James Wilson as the only striking alternatives available to Van Gaal.

"United are lacking a presence, someone up front who can control the game and score goals. They need a poacher in the box," Waddle told the BBC.

"Rooney doesn't seem to have somebody he can play with and that is why they need to buy a top-class number nine for him to play behind."

No goal poachers

Rooney showed flashes of brilliance in the 3-1 Champions League play-off win over Club Brugge on 18 August, but failed to convert the chances that came his way and was substituted late in the match.

Waddle added: "At the moment Rooney is lacking confidence. He is isolated and doesn't look composed in front of goal.

"He is physical, he's got good pace and a great range of passes, which is why he's best played behind the striker.

"Van Gaal keeps saying he's got four centre-forwards and doesn't need another one. I think he's got four number 10s. I don't think he's got an out-and-out number nine."

United must move swiftly if they intend to bolster their attacking options, with less than two weeks of the summer transfer window remaining.