David Moyes must drop Robin van Persie from Manchester United’s side to face Olympiacos on Wednesday evening in a bid to salvage the tie at 2-0 down from the first leg.
The Dutchman has been worryingly lackluster in recent weeks, with his ineffectiveness compounding in United’s 3-0 thrashing by Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
He has looked a shadow of the man that scored 30 goals in all competitions last campaign to propel them to a 20th league title.
Talk and speculation has been rife that the Netherlands captain is unhappy at Old Trafford, with a return to Arsenal mooted as a possible destination.
He has recently denied his unhappiness through an interview published on the club’s official site, yet his body language and demeanour on the pitch tells another story.
Wayne Rooney’s rejuvenation – expected to earn him the captaincy when Nemanja Vidic leaves for Inter Milan at the end of the season – has led to Van Persie playing second fiddle and losing the limelight.
Injuries have played a part in derailing his season, but there is no denying that his performances do not warrant his place in United’s line-up.
Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez are both capable of deputising, with the latter facing a fight to secure his future after sporadic appearances thus far.
When called upon, Welbeck has excelled, scoring ten goals including a fine winner against Norwich City at Carrow Road in December.
Hernandez, contrastingly, has netted just seven times in 24 appearances and despite scoring 18 goals last season is yet to convince Moyes of his true capabilities.
Whether one of the duo deputise or Rooney operates on his own is yet to be seen.
Van Persie’s days at the club now look numbered.
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