With news coming down from on high that Robin Van Persie, the savior of United in their Champions League campaign, will be sidelined for at least 6 weeks with his knee injury, the possibilities seem fairly bleak for last year’s EPL champions. RVP was pivotal in their trophy-winning season last time around and, if Manchester United were to salvage anything from this season, then the Dutch international would have to play another key role. However, now that Van Persie has been ruled out until early May, could this end up being a good thing?
Stay with me, judging this situation too soon can be easy to do…
First, Rooney will have to earn his contract. The ex-Evertonian striker will now have to prove that his most recent contract extension was warranted. If Wazza can get moved back to his preferred lead-striker role and become the figurehead that the Red Devils have lacked all season, then it could be a great stepping stone for the next season. It seems unlikely that anything Rooney does will result in him being shopped around in the summer because of this new contract, and United need to accept that their team will be centered around him for another few seasons. Because of that, seeing if Rooney still has the ability to be one of the best in Europe will really help United prepare for the next go-around.
Second, everyone now has an “out.” Moyes, the Glazers, and the entire United squad can now point at the hat-trick hero’s departure as the reason why they were unable to mount a late season campaign. Will this save Moyes job? Doubtful, but it will buy him more time and give him a tangible press conference subject to point towards when fixtures do not go his way. Will it save the Glazers from the wrath of the fans this summer? Perhaps, as the ownership group can easily point to the Mata capture, the Januzaj emergence, and any other small positives as why this season was not a complete loss. Plus, if they fire Moyes, the beleaguered manager will be an easy scapegoat to place all of the blame on.
Last, it will probably not change RVP’s summer decisions. Although, United should be aware that RVP was very injury prone early in his career and he might have reverted back to that type of status…then keeping him should be a task that the staff do not take lightly. It may slightly lower RVP’s sale price, but United can be happy knowing that they got some great contributions from the Dutch striker and they can move him on before his transfer value completely evaporates. Him not being on the pitch for six weeks and not helping United actually look decent for the last two months of the season will also make it easier for everyone involved to part with RVP.
When Van Persie went down, it looked fairly bad. Moyes attempted to ease any fears by proclaiming that the injury was not too bad, but this new report suggests that RVP has taken a real knock. When first hearing about it, there seemed to be nothing positive to take from the situation…but now, we at The Center Circle feel like this could have been a blessing in disguise.