Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has revealed that striker Robin van Persie will miss the start of the new Premier League season.
The 30-year-old was given an extended summer break due to his participation in the 2014 World Cup, where he led his nation to a third-place finish. He hasn’t featured at all in United’s pre-season tour of America.
The Dutchman is set to return to training on 4th August, just 12 days before the Red Devils kick-off their Premier League campaign at home to Swansea City, and Van Gaal believes that his star striker will not be fit enough to play.
“Robin wants to play every game, I know that, but so do the other 30 players in the squad," he said, according to the Manchester Evening News.
"But players have to train and Robin needs a full training regime behind him before he can play again. Robin will begin training on Monday, but he won’t play in the friendly against Valencia on August 12, definitely not.
“And he won’t play in the Premier League at the start either, I think. People can criticise me for that decision but I know what you have to do with players who have had three weeks’ holiday.
“Hopefully, Robin will get his fitness back very fast. But at this moment, he won’t be playing."
Van Persie scored four times in his six World Cup games, and Manchester United fans will hope that he can keep fit throughout the course of the season, and guide them to a successful campaign.
Last season's failure
That wasn't the case last season, when David Moyes struggled with the weight of expectation following his arrival at Old Trafford. The club failed to qualify for Europe and the Scot paid with his job.
It's now in the hands of Van Gaal to restore some pride at Manchester United as they look to challenge for trophies once again.