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Robin Van Persie’s Manchester United Place May Be In Danger Once Louis Van Gaal Reshuffles Attack

Manchester United have signed some top attacking talent this summer, and according to Robin Van Persie they can all play together.

Manchester United’s signings of Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao were exciting for every Premier League fan. Two world class players have arrived, bringing star-power and skill in abundance. Di Maria’s goal against Leicester, now largely forgotten in the madness of the 5-3, was hopefully just a taste of what is to come.

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Another forgotten goal from that game was Robin van Persie’s, which from the moment it went in was remembered mostly as a “Falcao assist” given the Colombian’s sublime delivery from the flank. He is perhaps the only person who might not be too excited about Manchester United’s big attacking buys this summer. In a twist that would have been considered preposterous just a year ago, the Dutch striker finds his place under threat. Van Persie had a forgettable season last year as United struggled, and has started this season in a similar vein. Against Leicester, Van Gaal tried to fit all his strikers in the team together. Having conceded five to the newly promoted team, it seems unlikely that plan will be repeated. The question is, who will miss out?

Di Maria has hit the ground running and been United’s best player since his first touch for the club. Falcao’s wages makes him impossible to bench (for a while at least), and Rooney’s assumption of the captaincy makes him equally undroppable. Despite his quality and their history together with the Dutch national team, Van Persie seems most likely to miss out on the West Ham game.

Van Persie told Fox Sports Australia that he and the other strikers “want to play together”, but its hard to imagine a Manchester United team which has just conceded five persisting with the same system. Another alternative that has been suggested is to drop Rooney deeper; as if playing a striker in your midfield will make you more defensively solid. Di Maria also played in midfield for Madrid last year, but he has excelled further forward for United already, and Van Gaal will be loathe to tinker with the parts of his team that are functioning. The United manager admitted yesterday that he only has one fit centre half available for tomorrow’s game at West Ham, and many would argue that his injured defenders aren’t good enough anyway- playing a striker or a winger in an unfamiliar midfield role ahead of them is not going to help

Van Persie’s uncertain role has lead to the inevitable links to Barcelona and Real Madrid, perhaps the only clubs in the world with stronger forward lines than United. The Dutchman is 31, with a history of injuries and enormous wages. As much as he might try to deny it, the next few years of his career are as uncertain as his place in the United side.

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