Manchester United forward Robin van Persie could well be out of action for up to month, having suffered suspected ankle ligament damage during the loss to Swansea City last weekend.
According to foreboding reports in the Daily Mail the Dutch striker’s woes are set to be confirmed by his manager during a pre-weekend press conference tomorrow afternoon. It’s said Louis van Gaal will explain more about the problem, but initial predictions have it pegged that Van Persie will be out for between three and four weeks.
The blow is the latest in a string of unfortunate events for the striker this term, and the 31-year-old can ill afford to spend too many games on the sidelines. His future past this summer has already been a major talking point discussed frequently, and had Radamel Falcao settled in with more confidence perhaps his showings this season would have been further scrutinised.
As it stands Van Persie is the most experienced striker Van Gaal has, and his relationship with the Old Trafford boss may have been one of the reasons why he’s been afforded chances time and again this term.
Van Persie's form
For the ex-Arsenal captain has looked a shadow of the player who surged to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts in his maiden campaign with the Red Devils, and there’s been more than just a small portion of fans suggesting that he be dropped.
With Wayne Rooney having been pushed back into midfield this term and the young James Wilson waiting in the wings for regular chances Van Gaal does have options besides Van Persie, and if prospective candidates can impress whilst the forward’s ankle is on the mend he may struggle to regain his place upon his return.
Opportunity opens up
One man who will be hoping to seize the opportunity is Falcao, who was subbed during the drab FA Cup victory over Preston North End and dropped to the bench for the trip to Swansea. The Colombia international, much like Van Persie, has flattered to deceive at times this season, paving the way for a strong sense of frustration in the stands.
Whether or not Van Persie, who was last pictured leaving the Liberty Stadium wearing a protective boot, can rally to finish the season with a flourish remains to be seen. If he doesn’t though it’s unlikely at his age that he’ll be given another year to prove he still has the talent for the top.
United fans, is Van Persie’s injury a blessing in disguise? Should he be kept on at Old Trafford past the summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...