Van Persie has been in clinical form since his summer move from Arsenal, with two goals in the 3-1 Champions League win over Braga in midweek taking his total to 11 in 14 matches.
Rooney is in no doubt that Van Persie is one of the best finishers in world football, but says it would be foolish to ignore his all-round play and how he is working to improve the players around him.
The England striker said: "Of course everyone knows he is a fantastic player and he has a calmness about him - I think he's great for the whole team.
"He's a talisman and if you can get players around him and feeding off him it's great for all of us; myself, Chicharito and all the midfield players as well.
"Last season at Arsenal was his best season in the Premier League goal-scoring wise (van Persie scored 30 goals), and he has changed his game to play on the shoulder more, to get into better goalscoring positions.
"Obviously he's a great finisher but I think he's a lot stronger and can hold the ball up better than you would think. He's a fantastic player and he's great around the squad as well."