Why Robin van Persie won’t walk into Manchester United’s team when he returns

The Dutchman is currently injured, but will struggle to get back into the Manchester United side when he returns due to the form of his teammates.

Two years ago, Robin van Persie was Manchester United’s star, who they acquired from rivals Arsenal to win the title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final year in charge.

However, since the Scot’s retirement, the Dutchman has failed to hit the heights of that season under either David Moyes or even Louis van Gaal, who got the best out of him at last summer’s World Cup.

United have struggled to fit him, Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao into the same team as it just doesn’t play to their strengths. Van Persie is at his best as a lone striker, so playing alongside Falcao with Rooney in midfield did not help United.

Since the 32-year-old suffered an ankle injury, United have looked much more fluid in Van Gaal’s preferred 4-3-3 system, with captain Rooney playing alone up front.

Van Persie may have scored 10 times but he has looked laboured and static up front, like he is waiting for a chance to score rather than moving around to give defenders something to think about.

In truth, he has been easy to mark out of a game. He used to play on the defenders’ shoulder, and coming deep to see the ball is not his style.

Van Persie would fit into the 4-3-3 system but only as the lone striker, and with Rooney performing the role with both energy and drive, there is not much hope of him forcing his way back in.

With his return just a few weeks away, if Van Gaal changed the system again to fit the Dutchman into the side, it would disrupt all of the great work they have done in the last few games, having beaten both Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in their last two outings.

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