Stats: Here is the proof that Robin van Persie MUST be sold

Manchester United should cash-in on front-man Robin van Persie as the Dutchman has gotten considerably worse as he has aged.

In Robin van Persie's final season at Arsenal, he was almost unstoppable. Out of all the shots that left his feet/head, almost half were on target - a testament to his accuracy.

In terms of attacking efficiency (goals + assists / minutes played) he was responsible for scoring or producing a goal once every 85 minutes on average and had suitably convinced then Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to part company with £24m in order to secure his services for four years.

  ClubGoalsAssistsChancesShots On TargetGoals/Shot%AppsMins
van Persie Arsenal 30 9 92 47% 17% 38 3,334

It wasn't just van Persie's productivity in front of goal, or how he directly affected a scoreline, that made his name the first in conversations as to whom the most technically-adept and prolific striker was in English football at the time. But, also, how frequently he supplied goal-scoring opportunities for his team-mates. At Arsenal, in 2011-12, he produced a chance once every 36 minutes on average.

  ClubGoalsAssistsChancesShots on TargetGoals/Shot%AppsMins
van Persie United 26 9 70 46% 18% 38 3,123

While van Persie's debut season at Old Trafford cannot be considered anything other than a success - he did, after all, almost single-handedly win the Premier League title - he was not as deadly as he was at Arsenal. He scored fewer goals, assisted less, created fewer chances and became less accurate with his shooting.

  ClubGoalsAssistsChancesShots on TargetGoals/Shot%AppsMins
van Persie United 11 3 16 33% 19% 18 1,466

This season, van Persie's attacking efficiency is only mildly worse - one goal/assist every 104 minutes he is on a Premier League field, but what is most concerning is that he is far less precise with his shots, is not as creative (creates a chance every 44 minutes on average) and he has played far less competitive football.

Van Persie has long been an injury-prone player, but in his last season at Arsenal and debut campaign at Stretford, he managed to avoid the physio's room for the most part. That has changed this year as he has reverted to form and, since the start of the current campaign has suffered seven muscular injuries.

The Mail on Sunday reported today that Juiventus, AC Milan, Paris Saint Germain, AS Monaco, Real Madrid or even Barcelona could all be interested for van Persie… for £20m, meaning United would only be making a £4m loss on a player they signed two years ago, yet one who is far beyond his prime years as an athlete and footballer.

Considering the deterioration in the player's overall quality and fitness does not equal the depreciation of his price-tag, then United would be wise to cash-in on the striker this summer, while he still has name value.

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