Radamel Falcao watched on from the subs’ bench as Manchester United slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon - but Robin van Persie ought to have been sat right next to his under-performing teammate.
It seems no matter how poorly the Dutchman plays, United boss Louis van Gaal simply can’t bring himself to drop the man he made captain of the Netherlands national team.
This really should have been a concern for every Manchester United supporter following the announcement that Van Gaal had been appointed as David Moyes’ successor. No wonder Van Persie was filmed beaming after news broke that Van Gaal was likely to take the job at Old Trafford last summer - he must have known he’d be virtually undroppable.
Van Gaal makes exceptions for Van Persie
Van Gaal stated earlier this season that Wayne Rooney - as the club’s newly-appointed captain - would be the only guaranteed name on his team-sheet.
But the Dutch coach has clearly made an exception for Van Persie, who has been dreadful for two months solid now but continues to start for the Red Devils on a weekly basis.
That some Manchester United fans reacted positively to news that the 31-year-old had left the Liberty Stadium on crutches says everything you need to know about just how far the former world-class striker has fallen over the past 18 months.
The old version of Van Persie is gone
2015’s version of Robin van Persie is, sadly, a shadow of the striker who inspired Manchester United to their 20th league title at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.
The old version isn’t coming back, either.
Sir Alex Ferguson was the master of knowing when a player’s time was up at Old Trafford - and it’s imperative that Van Gaal reluctantly accepts Van Persie is no longer good enough for Manchester United.
Van Gaal must do what's right for Manchester United
Falcao has been terrible this season, but Van Persie has only been marginally better, despite the fact he has scored 10 goals in 25 appearances this season - stats that don’t tell the whole truth about his ineffective displays.
When Falcao leaves Old Trafford early this summer, Van Gaal must finally do what’s best for Manchester United Football Club and ensure Van Persie is the next Red Devils’ player out the door.
Do you agree? Should Manchester United sell Robin van Persie this summer? Have your say in the comments below!