Ex-Netherlands striker Roy Makaay believes that his international predecessor Robin Van Persie still has what it takes to play at the highest level for Manchester United despite a disappointing campaign last season, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Van Persie, who turns 32 in August, still has a year remaining on his contract, and has been linked with a move away from the club after an indifferent last season in which the striker only scored 10 Premier League goals - his lowest total since the 2009-10 season, during which Van Persie made just 16 appearances in an injury-plagued season.
Juventus are reportedly keen to acquire Van Persie this summer, however the Dutchman is by no means ready to throw in the towel, insisting he intends to stay and fight for his place at Manchester United for some time to come.
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"I still have the ambition to play for another eight years. In a few years’ time I may have to accept that I will no longer play at the very highest level. I don’t think that moment is coming now. I still feel very, very fit." he told reporters.
This is a view shared by Makaay who commented: "everyone knows he has some amazing qualities and he can still be useful for Man United for sure."
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Though, after niggling injuries limited Van Persie's appearances at points last season, Makaay aired caution over his fellow countryman's fitness.
"I think it’s important for Robin that he takes a good holiday. Last year after the World Cup he didn’t come back really fit and he was fighting that in the whole year.
"As a striker you have to be 100 per cent every game. The defenders want to kill you every game and that’s why you have to be prepared every game.
"So if you are not fit you get hit every game. Strikers have to be 100% fit and then you can make a difference."
Still a threat for United
Clearly not at his best last season, Van Persie undeniably still possesses the ability to remain a force in front of goal, even if the striker's fitness continues disrupt his playing time.
Let it not be forgotten that almost a year to the day, Van Persie scored his sublime diving header in the World Cup group game against Spain, a goal which fully demonstrates the value he can add to any side.
Even if Manchester United begin to restrict Van Persie's appearances in order to maximise the impact the Dutchman can make upon team, it is unlikely they will be willing to part ways with their striker. Considering the vast Premier League experience he has to offer as well as their lack of other striking options, even a loan move abroad can be expected to be rejected by the Manchester United board.
With Memphis Depay secured for next season and Louis Van Gaal's insistence that Angel Di Maria will not be sold in the summer transfer window, it is likely that Van Persie will be forced to battle for his place next season, but even at 32 expect the Dutchman to come out swinging and prove his worth to the team.