New Delhi: The pressure is certainly on Robin van Persie. The Netherlands star is living through a barren patch for Manchester United. And compounding his worries is the recent comment from the club manager Louis van Gaal that the Dutch captain will need to fight for his place.
After leading Red Devils to their 20th league title and helping veteran gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson signed off in style, the 31-year-old forward is struggling to score, the reason for which he was poached from Arsenal in 2012.
Talking about the chances of van Persie playing against visiting Hull City on Saturday, van Gaal said that “Every player in my selection has to fight for his position and I shall always take the best of the players and it must also be suitable for the mix of players. So it is also an obligation of a player that he does that.”
With the return of super loanee Radamel Falcao imminent, van Gaal's comment will serve a warning to his compatriot. Besides, the manager also expressed his confidence on the availability of the former Monaco striker, also Argentine defender Marcos Rojo.
“I hope so because we have him on loan because of that... It is not just Falcao poised to provide a huge boost for United but the Argentina defender Marcos Rojo is also in contention after being out with a shoulder injury... We have to wait and see until the last training session of course,” Van Gaal said.
In the eleven league matches so far this season, van Persie has scored only three goals – one each against the visiting Leicester City in a 3-5 losing cause, in a 2-1 win over West Ham United at home and in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at home. The goal scoring drought has allowed other players to overshadow the former Arsenal captain.
What's more troubling for van Persie is his recent slump in over-all performance for the club. When he scored 26 goals in his first season at Old Trafford, many pondered over the possibility of giving him the captaincy reigns. But, this season, he has failed to inspire his team-mates. In his last outing, against his former club Arsenal, he could managed a mere 13 touches before he was substituted in the 74th minute.
It's been the norm this season. He has been subbed four times by his compatriot van Gaal. His position in the team has became untenable. In fact, rumour mill has started working overtime, predicting that the Dutch all-time goal top-scorer could also leave the club.
With agency inputs