Louis van Gaal has insisted that his Manchester United team will be better off without Robin van Persie this season after allowing the Dutchman to leave for Fenerbahce in a cut price deal this summer.
Van Persie completed a shock £4.7million move to the Turkish outfit to bring an end to a topsy-turvy career at Old Trafford, culminating in a disappointing season in which he scored just ten goals. His dwindling return was not strictly down to a lack of form, but also a succession of injury problems.
After joining the Red Devils in a controversial move from Arsenal in 2012, Van Persie went on the claim his second successive Golden Boot and his first Premier League title with 26 goals under Sir Alex Ferguson.
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That was as good as it got for the striker as he struggled with life under Ferguson's successor David Moyes, scoring just 12 goals in an injury hit campaign.
The 31-year-old started 25 Premier League games last season under Van Gaal, but many of them were during a time when he was struggling with a number of niggling problems. Whether concerns over form and fitness won the day, Manchester United's manager, Van Gaal, eventually decided Van Persie's time was up.
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But have regained such a nominal fee for the striker, many are questioning Van Gaal's decision to let the Holland international leave. However, the manager is certain that his captain Wayne Rooney will fill any void left by Van Persie.
He told The Sun: “Rooney says he can score 25 goals minimum. Last season I had a top scorer with 12 goals and Van Persie had ten goals. So if I have a striker that scores 25, I am better off.”
Van Persie earned an astonishing £250,000-a-week at Old Trafford and certainly failed to justify that wage in his second and third seasons. Alongside him, Angel di Maria, who earns £280,000-a-week, is expected to depart for PSG in the coming days.
Di Maria will become the 18th person to leave the club since Van Gaal took charge last summer with just ten coming in at a cost of £230m. Van Gaal, 63, believes constantly refreshing the team is key to keep the players on their toes.
He continued: “I believe in refreshment of teams to keep the spirit and also the challenge to be in the line-up. We had a lot of old players. It was difficult as I was new and had to do it at once. But now we have all positions double occupied.”
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