Robin van Persie weighs in on the Wayne Rooney criticism

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Now a Fenerbahce player, Robin van Persie is returning to Old Trafford this evening for the first time since leaving Manchester United in 2015 as his current side take on the Red Devils in the Europa League.

The Dutch striker is sure to get a great reception from the home supporters who will remember how his goal-scoring form almost single-handedly led them to the title back in the 2012/13 campaign.

In fact, despite not having played for the club in almost two years, RVP is arguably more popular amongst United fans right now than current United captain Wayne Rooney. With the criticism of the England striker continuing, van Persie has weighed in on the debate ahead of Thursday's game.

"Of course, Wayne is a top player," van Persie told United's official TV channel, MUTV, via their official website. "He's the all-time top scorer for England and he's scored so many goals for Manchester United.

"But, you know, Wayne is strong as well. He's been used to living in the spotlight from a very young age. He will deal with things. During a career, you have ups and downs but Wayne always finds a way to come out of it."

Of course, van Persie is no stranger to being the villain amongst supporters. The way he left Arsenal for their Premier League rivals in 2012 means he is the still a figure of hate for many Gooners.

However, the Dutchman believes that Rooney's situation is actually simply a case of everything being blown out of proportion rather than anything the United striker, or Jose Mourinho, has done.

"These days, everything is a bit blown up with social media and all the opinions from former players and from whoever, everyone has an opinion. Everyone takes it over and I think it's made bigger than it really is.

"At any stage of your career, you will sit on the bench a few times. It's quite normal in a long season, especially in England, where you have so many games. 

"I don't see what the fuss is about. I think people are actually making it bigger than it is.

"I think people are looking for sensation and something that is not there in most cases. Wayne will know how to handle this and he will come out on top."

Rooney will appreciate the words of his former teammate, however it may be some time before the Englishman can "come out on top".

Having dropped to the bench for club and country in recent weeks, the idea that Rooney is a shadow of his former self is one that continues to grow at pace.

Whether he will get the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong in United's big games in the near future looks unlikely just now.

Wayne Rooney
Robin Van Persie
Premier League
Juan Mata
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League

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