Manchester United received a boost ahead of this weekend's clash with Aston Villa in the Premier League, as Robin van Persie is set to return to the first team following a lengthy injury lay-off.
Louis van Gaal has been unable to call upon his compatriot for the past six weeks owing to an ankle injury Van Persie picked up in the defeat away at Swansea City in February.
He has now fully recovered and, according to The Sun, will get a place on the bench as Manchester United welcome the struggling Villa to Old Trafford on Saturday. He is then expected to play an Under-21fixture against West Ham just a few days later.
As the article points out, Van Persie has been far from his best this season and even when he is fully match sharp, he will struggle to oust Wayne Rooney from the centre-forward position on recent form.
Rooney has played a key role in two recent performances by Van Gaal's men that indicate they may have turned a corner in terms of form and have made Old Trafford fans far more enthusiastic about the club's top-four prospects.
A 3-0 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur saw a blistering first half performance put the game out of sight by the interval, but it was the confident 2-1 win against Liverpool at Anfield a week later that really got people excited.
Rooney has shown greater mobility and flexibility in terms of style compared to Van Persie and Radamel Falcao, which has allowed the team to function more effectively as a whole.
Van Persie only has two years remaining on his contract and his next deal will likely be the last big one he signs before the end of his career, so the past 18 months of malaise in terms of his form could prompt him to seek a move elsewhere before his star falls any further.
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