Owen: Rooney the right choice for captaincy
The Red Devils were in need of a new skipper following Nemanja Vidic's summer switch to Inter Milan after eight years with the Old Trafford outfit.
Robin van Persie was also a contender for the armband, having captained the Netherlands to the World Cup semi-finals under Van Gaal's stewardship.
However, the Dutchman opted for the striker who has scored 159 times in 310 league games; a decision Owen feels is the right one.
The BT Sport pundit said: "I think it’s a good choice by Van Gaal and I bet Wayne is really excited. He’ll be really excited to be given the opportunity.
"I think he’s always wanted to be the captain and the captain of England as well. And I think he’s a popular lad in the dressing room.
"He leads by example, he’s obviously a fantastic football player and I think he’ll put his heart and soul into the role."
And Owen, who made 31 league outings for United from 2009-12, does not believe Van Persie will be affected having been overlooked by his fellow countryman.
"I don’t think it’ll have any effect," he said. "In all walks of life you hope you’re the one that’s going to get picked, you hope you’re the one who’s going to get promoted at work or whatever it might be.
"You have to be able to deal with any slight disappointments, things like that. And I think given Wayne is a really popular character in the dressing room, the majority of people will be pleased for him."
Michael Owen is pundit for BT Sport, who this season will show 38 Barclays Premier League matches live plus top games from the FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and live action from more top flight football leagues than any other UK TV provider.