News of Robin van Persie’s seemingly imminent departure has provoked a wave of well wishers, stating that the Dutchman was good value for the £24m fee paid to acquire him from Arsenal three years ago.
Whilst ‘good value’ at that price may be a stretch the sentiment is clear – his goalscoring form in the 2012/13 season was crucial to winning the Premier League and the contribution is acknowledged as such.
However with two disappointing years that have followed – a hot and cold season under David Moyes, and a below par campaign under Louis van Gaal when all hoped he would regain the spark he lost – the time is probably right to let Van Persie move on. The fee won’t be huge, but the bonus for United is that as a top earner, it frees the money to potentially bring in another big name.
There is talk that Van Gaal will prefer a 4-3-3 system next season, meaning that Wayne Rooney is likely to be the preferred choice as the spearhead of the three. Chances will be limited, too limited to justify paying such a huge wage to a player whose best days have been and gone, and also too limited to justify keeping him around when he probably wants to play more at the back end of his career (even if he did say last year he wants to play until he’s 40!).
Another striker is on the move, not that the news will cause anywhere near the same amount of ripples – Angelo Henriquez’s permanent transfer to Dinamo Zagreb has all but gone through following the successful spell on loan. Henriquez has been described as a former player on the club’s official website.
He was in Chile’s squad for their Copa America triumph and has two goals in his eight international appearances but did not make a single appearance at Old Trafford.
A player barely seen by the United manager, he would have been hardly likely to get a chance if he had stayed, so in order to give his career the best chance, he had to move on.
If and when both players’ moves are made official, they will be given the fondest of wishes by United supporters for the future.