What is wrong with Robin Van Persie this season? Should United sell him?

Van Persie United 2

Robin Van Persie has clearly not been in the same form as last season when he fired Manchester United to the title.

Many expected Van Persie to carry on where he had left off from last season. He scored 26 goals as Manchester United romped to their 21st and Robin's first English league title. However they won't be adding to that this year and there have been many suggestions that their star striker is unhappy at the club.

It's obvious just from watching RVP on the pitch that something isn't quite right. He doesn't seem to be enjoying his game as much as last year, and just hasn't looked as prolific as in recent season. Obviously with the team struggling this year, you wouldn't expect him to match last season's exploits, but he still looks far from happy. Admittedly he has had injuries this season and still has 11 league goals from 18 games which is fairly impressive.

He commands a place in the Manchester United side as does Wayne Rooney but together they don't quite seem to be clicking. You watch Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in action and you can see them reading each other's games. They make runs to create space for one another, and without looking will often know where the other is and pick them out with a pass. However at Manchester United it seems Van Persie and Rooney are out of ideas and can't quite manage to penetrate defences.

In the match against Liverpool a ball was played over the top towards Robin Van Persie and it looked like he could replicate his famous volley against Aston Villa last season and also the one for Arsenal against Everton. He was a lot closer to the goal this time however but couldn't get enough contact on the ball to trouble Simon Mignolet.

 

NameTeamPosShots on GoalAccurate PassTouchesPoss Lost AllFwd PassMins
Robin van Persie Man Utd FW 4 13 27 8 3 90

The stats from yesterday's games show how ineffective he was. Just 27 touches in the whole game and just three forward passes that were completed. Even when he is on the ball it shows he has limited options ahead of him, and the team is lacking an creativity. Just 13 completed passes in the whole game, and yet again the talent of Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata is failing to produce the goods.

Van Persie looks devoid of confidence and doesn't seem quite settled. The Dutchman came to Old Trafford to win trophies and duly did so in his first season, but aged 30 and with United set to go through a period of transition will he win another?

Writing in The Daily Mail, former Leicester City, Brentford, and Cheltenham manager Martin Allen believes that Robin Van Persie should be shown the door at Old Trafford.

"I've being saying it for months that Robin van Persie needs to be shown the exit door at Manchester United.He was woeful against Liverpool. As soon as a player starts to kick up it spreads through the dressing room and sours the squad."

If Van Persie is noticeably causing problems in the dressing room then Martin Allen may have a point. Should United cut their losses on him now? They could still receive a handsome transfer fee for his services and then could reinvest in some younger talent.

Allen went on to say "Van Persie is not pulling his weight and his comment last week that he wanted to end his career at Manchester United was a smoke screen." The talk regarding RVP's future is mainly down to the fact he doesn't give many interviews and therefore speculation has gathered pace with little coming from the striker himself.

However he finally spoke about how he is feeling at United and his future when being interviewed for the club's programme United Review. He said he is happy with David Moyes and would like to sign another contract with the club. He's said the things you would want to hear and it almost sounds too good to be true. Martin Allen suggests it's all a smoke screen.

Robin said "There is no doubt I'm learning new things and progressing with David Moyes. The sessions we have on the training ground are fantastic and I'm learning a lot from them every day."

"There is mutual respect between us and the work environment is actually good. He really wants things to work and I want the same."

He has two years remaining on his contract but says he would be happy to extend that. "The truth is I'm very happy here.I signed for four years and I'd be delighted to stay longer, beyond the next two years I have on my contract."

He would surely want a similar contract to Wayne Rooney though who is now on £300,000 a week. Would it be worth shelling out that much for him?

 

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch