Why Robin van Persie's injury could be a blessing in disguise for Manchester United

Van Persie United

Robin van Persie's latest injury could actually be good news for Manchester United fans.

According to reports from BBC Sport, Manchester United are waiting on news about the fitness of Robin van Persie after the Netherlands striker left Swansea's Liberty Stadium on crutches.

The Red Devils' striker had a protective boot around his right ankle after suffering an injury in the final stages of his side's 2-1 defeat on Saturday.

The news surrounding the Dutchman's latest injury trouble - he had only just returned for the trip to Swansea, after missing last week's FA Cup win at Preston with a minor knock - will naturally worry the club's hierarchy, but those more cynical United fans may be secretly delighted, especially off the back of his most recent display. 

  PositionTouchesTotal ShotsShot Accuracy (%)GoalsKey PassesTotal PassesPass Accuracy (%)DispossessedMins Played
Robin van Persie FW 37 7 14 0 0 23 87 0 90

It's truly incredible that Van Persie lasted as long as he did against Swansea, or at least that Louis van Gaal allowed him to do so. He looked leggy, tired and at times disinterested, while his poor finishing was magnified by his dire work-rate and a distinct lack of movement.

He managed a match-highest seven attempts at goal versus the Swans, hitting the target on just a single occasion - an appalling effort. Furthermore, he accrued just 36 touches in total - fewer than any other outfield starter - and despite completing 87% of his attempted passes, he was the Red Devils' worst performer, by a significant margin. 

Van Persie is quite frankly stealing a living at Manchester United, and despite his 10 goals for the season, he has been doing so ever since Van Gaal's arrival. It is extremely worrying for the Old Trafford faithful that the Dutch head coach continues to value the 31-year-old as a worthy first-team option.

It is perhaps slightly sadistic to suggest that his latest injury is a blessing for the club, but, based on his recent displays, it truly is. This is likely to lead to either a first-team run for James Wilson, or a forward-pairing of Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao; either of which will have far more positive results. 

In the words of Match of the Day's Mark Lawrenson, Robin van Persie really is "taking the mickey."

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