The Red Devils skipper had his equal least amount of touches (35) in a Premier League outing during the 4-2 derby win over Manchester City on Sunday but former captain Neville suggests his off-the-ball work and ability to hold City's central defenders would have pleased van Gaal greatly.
"Sunday was a silent domination of City's centre-backs. I think they do a post-match evaluation after the game. I would think Louis van Gaal will have watched that game back and might think that was Rooney's best performance for Manchester United for him," Neville said on Sky Sports.
"Everyone who left Old Trafford may have said: 'Didn't see much of Rooney today,' but I think Louis van Gaal would have loved that performance."
Neville elaborated further: "If you look at the touches he had in the game, his average is 75-85 touches a game, he had 35 touches against City.
"It was his lowest in all his Premier League matches for United.
"But I think Louis van Gaal would have been happiest with him yesterday.
"The fact he held those two centre-backs central, kept those pockets open for (Marouane) Fellaini and (Ander) Herrera, meant that (Ashley) Young and (Juan) Mata pulled (Pablo) Zabaleta and (Gael) Clichy wide.
"I would have thought that was as near to perfect that Louis van Gaal has had at United."