Robin van Persie may well be in decline, but that doesn't mean that he's not good enough to produce the goods for at least another 18-months at Manchester United.
There's no doubt about it, the Dutchman, who enjoyed a remarkable debut season at Old Trafford, has struggled in the red shirt over the last year or so. Last season, under David Moyes, injury took its toll on the striker, and things just didn't go his way.
Struggling to find form
This term, with Louis van Gaal now in charge, Van Persie has once again failed to replicate the form that quickly turned him into a Manchester United hero.
But that doesn't necessarily mean his Old Trafford career is over, despite what reports are claiming. It's been revealed that Manchester United are looking at the duo of Edinson Cavani and Thomas Muller as they go in search of finding a replacement for Van Persie.
Don't get me wrong, Cavani and Muller are great players, but they aren't the men to replace Van Persie. Perhaps, if Radamel Falcao's stint at the Red Devils doesn't work out, then one of them should replace the Colombian at the club. But not Van Persie.
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There's already a young man at Old Trafford who should be moulded into the next Van Persie. His name is James Wilson, and his rise up the footballing ladder has been quite fantastic.
Van Persie, then, can offer Manchester United another year and a half of good service, and he can also help turn Wilson into his replacement. Perhaps, with Wilson learning from Van Persie, Manchester United will be able to save their cash as they will have a top striker at their disposal in two years time.
Wilson can learn from Van Persie, and he will only improve with the Dutchman around him. He can watch his movement, his technique and his class.
And Van Persie still possesses great class. It's about consistency and momentum for the Dutchman. A couple of goals in back-to-back matches can kick-start his season.
It was only a few months ago that he scored arguably the goal of the World Cup. He still has moments of genius in him. And it was only a couple of weeks ago that he found the net at a crucial stage against Chelsea. He is still a threat in the box.
At 31, he's not exactly a veteran. Perhaps he just has to find a new way of scoring goals, but that will come for the striker. He will be backed by his manager, and he may well repay him.
In fact, he may start repaying Van Gaal against his former club Arsenal tomorrow. If there's fire in his belly, then he will desperate to get back to his best against his former club. It's probably a little too early for fans to write off the striker just yet...
Manchester United fans: Do you still believe in Van Persie? Have your say in the comments section below!
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