Former Premier League star Matt Le Tissier has revealed his belief that Manchester United could dispose of both Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie if their fortunes don’t improve, though the latter will be given more slack.
In an interview with the Daily Express the Southampton legend, who scored 15+ goals in the first three consecutive seasons after the Premier League’s inception in 1992, claimed that neither Falcao nor Van Persie was safe at Old Trafford unless they can overcome their respective issues. The pair were tipped to form a lethal strike partnership after Louis van Gaal decision to bring the former in on loan, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way.
Falcao has continued to struggle with injuries and the fact that he’s only scored once - albeit an important winner against Everton - has added a weight of expectation around his neck.
The Colombia international takes home a mooted £210,000-a-week at the moment, but unless he can convince Van Gaal of his long-term fitness it looks likely he will be made to see out the remainder of his contract with AS Monaco, as opposed to switching to the Premier League permanently.
"I think if Falcao tends to miss games on a regular basis, it will put teams off wanting to sign him permanently," Le Tissier admitted.
"Perhaps he won't be there and Robin Van Persie you will have to assess as the season goes on."
"Perhaps he won't be there and Robin Van Persie you will have to assess as the season goes on"
Van Persie struggles
As for Van Persie, he hasn’t fared half as well as people expected he would under the familiar guidance of Van Gaal. The Dutchman only has three goals to his name for the Red Devils this season, and during his most recent outing against former club Arsenal he cut an extremely frustrated figure up top.
The 31-year-old’s position will be under considerably more duress when Falcao returns from injury, but Le Tissier believes he will be given longer to prove himself. The former Arsenal captain is on a contract worth some £250,000-a-week, and that is scheduled to run for four years.
"It hasn't been a stellar season for him so far and I imagine his performances will have to improve quite a lot over the rest of the season to warrant still being at United next season," continued Le Tiss.
"I imagine his performances will have to improve quite a lot over the rest of the season to warrant still being at United next season"
"Then again he does have a manager whom he likes and has trusted him with captaincy in the past.
"From that point of view, he will be cut a little more slack than the others will get."
Changes to be made?
Though it’s early stages yet Le Tissier’s comments do hammer home some evident truths concerning United’s current setup. They sit 4th in the Premier League virtue of the teams around them having under performed, but they’ve looked shaky, particularly at the back, and Van Gaal will certainly be looking to spend more money in the upcoming windows.
Indeed if it comes the end of the season and things haven’t gone his well the Dutchman will likely look to get rid of more perceived deadwood from Old Trafford, and with his reputation on the line the fact that Van Persie and Falcao are star names will matter very little.