English Premiership

Van Persie on the decline

2015-05-12 15:04
Robin van Persie (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Dutch striker Robin Van Persie's career at Manchester United may be reach an abrupt halt at the end of the season, writes Sport24's Wade Pretorius.

When Robin Van Persie signed for Manchester United from Arsenal in 2012, there were mixed feelings from both side's fans. 

Gunners fans were understandably shattered by the news that their star had agreed to join arch-rivals despite receiving £22.5 million for the player, then aged 29. With well-known injury problems, some sections of the fan base thought the deal represented a smart move by Arsene Wenger.

The Red Devils faithful were hopeful that Van Persie could stay fit long enough to fire them to further success especially with Van Persie coming off a stellar season before he agreed to joined United - he was named both the PFA Player of the Year and the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year in his final season at Arsenal.

Manchester United fans were delighted when an injury-free Van Persie guided the team to their 20th league title, with the Dutch star scoring 30 goals in all competitions in his one and only season under Sir Alex Ferguson.

The striker's form since then has mirrored the club's, under David Moyes the club struggled to compete with the rest of the league's big guns while Van Persie netted 12 league goals in 21 league outings an injury hampered season. 

The current season has been a repeat for Van Persie but fortunately not for the club with Champions League qualification all but guaranteed this term.

The Dutch striker has netted 10 league goals, only two of those in 2015, and provided only two assists with Van Persie featuring for only three minutes during March and April.

Van Persie will be turning 32 in August and has just one season left on his current deal, it is Manchester United's policy to offer only a one year extension to players over 30, possibly even less...

Louis van Gaal could be willing to let his Dutch captain move on in the summer if the right target became available.

Manchester United have already announced the singing of Dutch prodigy, Memphis Depay as competition for places increases due to Manchester United's "Gaalacticos" policy.

The question that begs to be asked now - Will Van Persie have the chance to add a second league winner's medal to his name? 

With injuries, age, an ever-improving squad and the rise and rise of Chelsea, the safe answer is "No"...

*Follow Sport24 soccer journalist Wade Pretorius on Twitter: @wadepretorius

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