MUFC: Why have United purchased Robin Van Persie?

Rooney will enjoy playing with the multi-talented Van Persie, but without midfield reinforcements, will they ever get the ball?

It’s confirmed. Robin Van Persie is now a Manchester United player. Having undertaken the decision to begin fasting earlier this week after watching the Horizon documentary, Eat, Fast and Live Longer I’m now sitting here wondering whether my mind has slipped off into some food-deprived state of non-reality. Just why have United bought Robin Van Persie?

Little about the transfer makes sense. The Dutchman is no spring chicken and fast approaching 30 with an infamously poor injury record. Considering the struggles United have had to keep players fit of late, RVP’s arrival will do little to banish the voodoo curse hanging over the treatment table at Carrington.

Secondly, Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad is overstocked with attacking talent with Rooney, Welbeck, Hernandez and Berbatov, the victim of United’s last tilt at purchasing an “established” Premier League striker, taking up four forward spots in the first team. Add to this prospects such as the newly purchased and highly hyped Chilean Angelo Herinquez, Federico Macheda and Will Keane and United’s striking options look wastefully oversubscribed and busy.

Perhaps Van Persie might take up a deeper role, or attack from the flanks, moving through channels? Considering the signing of Shinji Kagawa and Wayne Rooney’s potency in the hole the former looks unlikely. Similarly, the presence of Nani, Young and Valencia out wide makes the latter sound absurd, especially considering both Kagawa and Rooney also have a propensity to drift out to the left when roaming.

At the reported £24million, he also isn’t exactly “value” considering his injury tally and age. If United can afford to spend £24million on a luxury player why do the purse strings appear so tight when potential midfield transfers are probed? With an increase in his Arsenal wages too, RVP is far from a Glazernomics signing.

So what does this all mean for United, Sir Alex and their short-term future?

The potential for link-up play between Rooney, Van Persie, Kagawa and Welbeck is mouth watering, even before the idea of Cleverley, Anderson, Nani and co bursting through and cutting in to add more verticality and width. Perhaps Sir Alex has decided that the reckless brilliance of United’s flying start last is something to be encouraged if the players required stay available.

Maybe the signings already made have been misread too. If Kagawa plays as a creative central midfielder, ala a young Paul Scholes, with Nick Powell being used immediately in the first team then United’s midfield problem will have at least had bodies thrown at it. Cleverley, Anderson, Carrick, Giggs and Scholes may not be short of class and ability, but without a fully fit Darren Fletcher, they certainly lack bite. Kagawa and Powell will add more quality but the midfield still feels underpowered. Perhaps Anderson’s physical attributes will see him used more and more as a tackling shuttling type player rather than the rampaging attacker many believe he should have become.

Robin Van Persie is a fantastic footballer, and one of the most feared strikers in the Premier League, but his switch to Manchester United looks bizarre considering the issues within the squad. With Scholes and Giggs another year older, this season Cleverley, Kagawa and Powell must have an immediate impact, gelling with and deputising for Michael Carrick who continues to be United’s overworked and under-loved midfield mainstay.

What do you make of Robin Van Persie’s move to United? Can the midfield cope?

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8 thoughts on “MUFC: Why have United purchased Robin Van Persie?

  1. Berba won’t stay and Hernandez is inconsistent. Will be nice to see what RVP can do… Another Ruud?? Or a hyped up flop… Only time will tell!

    • Thanks for the comment!

      I hope Berba doesn’t hang around for his own sake as much as United’s, but it doesn’t seem like anyone’s coming in for him.

      Another Ruud would be great going forward but I worry about whose going to get hold of the ball and control the game when Scholes isn’t around.

  2. Maybe Sir Alex will give up on the wingers who do go down far to easily (Young & Nani) and stick with a 4-3-3. Kagawa, Carrick and Anderson with Powell & Cleverley as pretty decent back up. Then have Rooney, Van Persie either side of Hernandez with Macheda and Herinquez backing them up.

    I assume with the finacial state of Utd although managable it would be sensible to sell on players to balance the books, so with Nani not wanting to sit on the bench I’m sure he could be sold for enough to make up for the transer fee?

    In the end anyway this transfer is cause Sir Alex doesn’t have much longer in the game so this is him just having an FM moment like all us normal people do and just seeing if he can make something amazing happen.

    • Cheers for commenting!

      Haha, I love the idea that Fergie’s just trying to jazz his long-term FM save up with a crazy signing.

      4-3-3 sounds good in principle, but Fergie loves his wingers. It’ll be a pretty epic shift in approach for him to drop his commitment to width.

      You could be right about a clear out though. Fergie’s not the kind of manager to keep players who don’t have the mindset or drive to win. Then again, United only lost out last year on goal difference so Fergie may think there’s not much wrong with the young players another year older and wiser.

      • Yeah that is true about the wingers, I just think it’s the only way to involve the best players at the moment and the only one where all the younger players will also get a chance to grow into the first team.

        Just think though I still wouldn’t quite class this as the worst signing/non-signing of the window. Tottenham will have to emulate spain with a wired 4-6 formation due to the lack of the signing of strikers, whereas Chelsea will have to do it due to signing too many midfielders.

        Then you have Liverpool who have signed yet another centremid, better than any we signed last season but nevermind, without signing wingers that leaves just Johnson and Jose running up the wings leaving the defence exposed as they aren’t the best at getting back down the pitch.

        But funniest of all at least no-one is City with their one and only signing of Rodwell.

      • Rodwell to City is interesting though – if he comes good he could be a fantastic upgrade to Barry.

        On the 4-6-0, people forget that United played without a recognised striker back when we had Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez all swapping in and out from the flanks and midfield. Perhaps Fergie is considering emulating that fluid attacking system with RVP?

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