Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has expressed his disappointment with manager Louis van Gaal, claiming the Red Devils’ boss limited him to an hour in a recent reserve team match against Fulham.
The Dutch striker, who has struggled for form and fitness since Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford in the summer of 2013, felt he should have played the full 90 minutes at Craven Cottage.
But it’s somewhat bizarre that Van Persie claims he only played 60 minutes on the night - because he actually played for 81 minutes before being substituted.
Van Persie scored two goals in United’s 4-1 victory - in the 13th and 80th minutes - before being taking off with nine minutes of normal time left to play. But the former Arsenal captain clearly feels he should have stayed on the pitch until the end of the match.
Talking about his bid to maintain his match fitness after his ankle injury, which he sustained back in February, Van Persie told the Mirror: “Let’s get the facts straight, I’ve only had one injury. It was a planned six-week lay off and I came back on schedule.
“I went on the reserve team bus to Fulham. Six hours there and six hours back. I could see I was not going to play for the first team for a few weeks.
“I was a bit disappointed, though, that after travelling all that way, I was only allowed to play for an hour. I told the reserves coach I felt great, but he said it was orders from the boss that I could only play for one hour.”
Van Persie: I will play on for years
Perhaps Van Persie forgot how long he was actually on the pitch for - but it suggests United’s hero from the 2012-13 campaign is far from content with his current situation.
He admitted in the same interview that he could leave Old Trafford within the forthcoming months - United appear to have no plans to renew his contract, which expires next summer - but insists he can play for “many more years” despite the doubts over his fitness.
“Am I approaching the end of my career? Not at all,” he added. “Physically I feel fantastic and I think I’ll surprise many people by playing for many more years.”
It seems unlikely that Van Persie will still be a Manchester United player beyond the summer of 2016, but would the Red Devils’ faithful be overly disappointed if he left before the start of next season?
Manchester United fans: we want to hear your views! Should Louis van Gaal sell Robin van Persie? If so, who should replace him? Have your say in the comments below!