Robin van Persie has to improve in 2015 to justify place at Manchester United

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Manchester United striker Robin van Persie was well below par against Tottenham Hotspur, helping to form a worrying trend what you look at the statistics which suggest the Netherlands captain has a job on his hands to prolong his Old Trafford career beyond the end of this season.

Van Persie missed two glaring opportunities to break the deadlock at White Hart Lane, taking his tally for clear-cut chances spurned to eight in the Premier League this season, the same amount he's scored for the season in total.

Only Sergio Aguero has let more one-on-one's pass without bursting the net, but he's the division's top scorer and superior stars in terms of shot accuracy and overall contribution in the final third, when fit at least. The bottom line for Van Persie is that time is running out to justify remaining at United for the final year of his £250,000-a-week contract, a situation Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal will have to address in 2015.

Feast or famine for RVP this season

On paper Van Persie's return of eight goals in 18 games this term looks fairly healthy, but only netting six of 14 gilt-edged chances through on goal tells a different story.

It's been a case of swinging from one extreme to the next for the 31-year-old, who was fantastic against Newcastle United but floundered against Spurs just two days later.

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Falcao could add further pressure

Van Persie could already find himself on the outside looking in at United, if it weren't for the injury problems that have blighted Radamel Falcao's loan spell with the Red Devils to date.

Falcao has finally got himself fit over the last fortnight and continues to search for the sharpness that made him easily one of Europe's most ruthless finishers, which has for now earned Van Persie something of a stay of execution.

Van Gaal has accommodated all three of his stat strikers by moving Wayne Rooney back into central midfield in recent weeks, but Van Persie and Falcao must be aware that if they don't deliver the manager will quickly change his plans and wield the axe.

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Robin Van Persie
Manchester United
Premier League

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