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Why Van Persie Might Not Be Right For United

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Robin van Persie of Arsenal is the most recent man to have been linked with Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson confirming a bid for the top scorer of the last season, after Arsenal’s representatives gave it away in the media last week.

While the look for a frontman is more than welcoming given the release of Michael Owen and the imminent departures of Dimitar Berbatov and possibly Federcio Macheda and Bebe on loan, I’m not quite sure if van Persie is our man.

First off, he’s one of Europe’s hottest strikers who won a lot of hearts last season with bulldozer performances against Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool but the last time was the first time he’s played more than 30 games in a season since he’s been at Arsenal.

The injury-prone forward has played a very limited part in most of his other seven seasons with the 2010/11 season being the second most productive when he scored 18 goals for the Gunners in the league.

Although, last season he sparkled with 30 goals and 13 assists in 38 league games and showed world class form throughout the season, carrying on from the season before. He did not do very badly in Europe either with 5 goals and 2 assists in 8 appearances.

Valued at in excess of £25 million and with only year left in his contract, his correct price would be close to £15 million. According to The Sun, his wage demands are not very kind either.

He’s demanding a £195,000 a week contract and he’s 29 which means there’s no resale value on him which should easily have put United off, considering the debt we’re in. But it looks like that hasn’t happened. Sir Alex seems to have taken a liking for the Arsenal frontman who’s always going to be a financial risk, if bought but all we can do is hope it works out.

Instead of van Persie, we should look for a cheaper player with potential to develop like we did in the case of Hernandez. United have always produced superstars and buying one has not been our style.

If United end up signing RVP, what will happen to the development of Danny Welbeck and Hernandez? The counter argument to this proposal to let Welbeck and Hernandez develop is that they’re not good enough. But if instant success is what we want then we’re no different from Chelsea and Manchester City.

Chelsea and City have had no problems buying their way into success and that’s not the greatest way to earn trophies. If we’re buying van Persie now, it just makes United look weak and desperate for a superstar who can push United over the line. Where’s the spirit of a team in that?

Instead of talking about the club itself, the player will hog all the limelight for helping such a big club achieve success. Do we really want to be grateful for an individual or do we want to celebrate the success of the team we love?

I personally am willing to wait for another two years for a trophy if it means that the youngsters at the club come in and develop and help us achieve things. Success is all the more sweeter if there’s a certain wait attached to it. And it’s only a matter of a couple of years, when the team is in transition, and when that happens, there’s no need to worry for the next 5-6 years as by then our youngsters will be primed to take the club forward.

By Sriram Narasimhan @srinarasimhan

3 thoughts on “Why Van Persie Might Not Be Right For United”

  1. Agreed about RvP assessment. He's always been a good striker but his injury record is really poor. The last last 12/18 months have been a fluke, not the other way around.
    Anyone we buy should be a team player and he just doesn't quite seem to be that. if he's not the big man in a club I feel he is going to cause ripples one way or another. Let City have him to go with their collection of money grabbing mercenaries, or Spurs 🙂 – They need a front man

  2. Its dangerous to say we can wait two years for success. That was probably the attitude of Arsenal and they never returned. Man City and Chelsea and spending like there is no tomorrow and we need to step up as well. It's incredible that all fans ask for is a marquee signing and when Ferguson attempts to get one we have doubts. Van Persie is world class and is also 29. I understand his age is an issue and that is why we won't spend a lot on him. If we get him for £17-18 million then I think it quality. He will get a four year contract and by the end of that he will be 32. Yes he has no resale value but we can't always be about that. Sheringham was 31 when he arrived at Old Trafford and stayed for 4 years and had a big impact in helping us win titles.

  3. John, I completely agree with you when you say it's dangerous to adopt such a development model but like you said, Arsenal have a similar model and they've always been successful, in the sense, they've always finished in the top four which is a fantastic achivement considering most of their players have been blooded at the club. But that was never really the problem for Arsenal, was it? The problem with Arsenal is that they've never really managed to keep hold of their matured stars. That is why Arsenal have not been successful in terms of trophies. I have no problem with such a model provided you can keep hold of your players when you need them the most.

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