Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal may have inadvertently ruined Robin van Persie’s season when he convinced the Dutchman not to have knee surgery while Holland manager.
Then Manchester United boss David Moyes wanted van Persie to have the procedure before the World Cup after the United striker suffered a ligament injury in the 3-0 win over Greek side Olympiakos in February.
But according to the Daily Mirror van Gaal persuaded van Persie against surgery to keep him fit for the World Cup in Brazil.
That may ultimately come back to bite the former-Netherlands manager, who took over as United boss following Holland’s elimination at the semi-final stage.
Van Gaal now knows that sooner or later van Persie will have to have the operation as the nagging ligament problem refuses to go away.
The Netherlands medical team convinced United to keep van Persie off the treatment table by monitoring the injury and resting the striker when appropriate. That allowed van Persie to still make the Dutch World Cup squad although Moyes was forced to go without RVP for two months while he recovered.
The Dutch striker did not feature again until the tail end of the season, by which time Moyes had been sacked and United were looking for a long-term replacement.
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Has to happen eventually
The report claims van Gaal and the United coaching staff are aware that van Persie will never be fully fit again until he goes under the knife.
He looked off the pace again yesterday as United stumbled to a 0-0 draw against newly promoted Burnley.