Gary Neville has claimed Manchester United's Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Jonny Evans need to step up and take the lead of the dressing room, under Louis van Gaal.

Following the departures of veterans Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Nemaja Vidić, the new United boss has decided to give Rooney the team's captaincy, and have Darren Fletcher serve as vice-captain.

"For me it's always very important the choice of captain. Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does. I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy," Van Gaal said. "He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role."

Now former United captain Neville claims that Van Persie, Carrick and Evans have to assume more responsibility in order to guide United back to the titles.

Dressing room leadership

"Big personalities like Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have gone, and new leaders and characters need to emerge in the dressing room," Neville was quoted by Manchester United official website.

"That's particularly true for the ones who have been there for a period of time. Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Jonny Evans are the five obvious players who have won many honours between them. Now they need to step up."

"This is now the opportunity for [the likes of] Phil Jones, David De Gea, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera – players who've been signed – to become leaders and develop the mentality that they want to take over the mantle.

Nevertheless, Neville believes Van Gaal will demand much more from his new players.

"The main thing is that the manager is a fantastic leader in his own right," said Neville, "so he will demand that his players take more responsibility out on the pitch."