After another disappointing season thwarted by injuries and lack of form, Robin Van Persie’s Manchester United career appears to be at crossroads. With one year left on his current deal and no indication of a new contract being offered, Van Persie and his representatives have some big decisions ahead.
The former Arsenal man was scintillating in his debut season for The Red Devils, under Sir Alex Ferguson’s guardianship, Van Persie played a pivotal role in United wresting the Premier League trophy from their noisy neighbours and claiming an elusive 20th league title. When Van Persie signed for Manchester United from fierce rivals Arsenal for a £24m transfer fee, few would have predicted that the Dutchman would play only one season under Sir Alex Ferguson. The retirement of Ferguson rocked Van Persie and there is a strong argument to suggest that the Dutchman hasn’t been the same player since the legendary Scot retired.
Van Persie has revealed that regular first team football is what he craves, another stop start season at Manchester United could potentially jeopardise the Dutchman’s chances of leading Holland’s forward line at next year’s European Championships. Van Persie stated “It is my ambition to play as many games as possible. I feel fitter than ever. And I know that the more games I play, the more it will help me prepare for the European Championships next summer”. Euro 2016 could be Van Persie’s international swansong and he will be eager to do all he can to guarantee being the main man for Netherlands in France next summer.
A move to Italy has been touted as one of Van Persie’s potential destinations, the Dutchman recently revealed how he remains in contact with former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, now of Juventus. Van Persie told the Sunday Mirror: “I still speak to my old mate Patrice. He has told me stories about how Juventus train, how hard they work and how they manage to be successful”. After watching Radamel Falcao’s demise first hand, Van Persie will not want to see his time at Manchester United fizzle out.
The appointment of Louis Van Gaal gave fans optimism that the deadly, prolific and clinical Robin Van Persie would return. After an impressive World Cup performance, the Old Trafford faithful were given further optimism that Van Persie would return to the peak of his powers. However, Van Persie’s performances have become increasingly laboured and with Louis Van Gaal conjuring up a fantastic relationship with club captain Wayne Rooney, RVP could well be heading for the exit door.
With United set for another whirlwind summer of comings and goings, Van Persie has revealed that the players that join United’s set up will have an impact on his decision, “United spent £200m on players last year and they are going to spend another £200m this summer so we will have a team that can compete for the title. “I’ll have to take everything into consideration when I decide on my future. I have to be realistic about the situation.” With United expected to strengthen in the striking department, Van Persie will seek assurances from his Dutch counterpart Van Gaal that his role will not become a bit part/impact sub player.
What was evident from watching United’s displays last season was that the team is crying out for an injection of pace. In order for United to return amongst the powerhouses and challenge for major trophies once again, a world class pacey striker which causes havoc for opposing defences is a necessity. RVP has never been blessed with electric pace but it was his intelligent movement and spellbinding finishing which earned him the Premier League golden boot on two separate occasions. With Van Persie’s powers dwindling and his deadly instinct a distant past, a move away from Old Trafford may benefit both parties. RVP was once deemed the MVP of Old Trafford, the Dutchman could however be deemed surplus to requirements just 3 years on. Showdown talks with influential figure Louis Van Gaal will prove decisive in what the future holds for the Dutch wizard.