When the club made their biggest signing in years this summer, Manchester United fans were struggling to contain their saliva, at the prospect of Robin van Persie teaming up with their very own Wayne Rooney.
So far it’s been a massive anti-climax in this respect. RVP came on for the final 20 minutes in the season opener against Everton. Then Rooney was benched for the next game, against Fulham, until the ill fated five minute cameo that caused his latest injury.
But, during the week, Rooney returned to amply illustrate what Manchester United have been missing. Today, against Tottenham, the likelihood is that Rooney will be thrown in at the deep end and start the match in combination with van Perise.
In Rooney’s absence Manchester United’s other main summer signing, Shinji Kagawa, has been playing in the hole behind RVP with mixed results. The Japanese international is still settling at the club and one feels that he may be asked to fill a different role now that ‘the big man’ is back. Most likely on the left hand side and, ultimately, further back in the midfield.
Kagawa has shown some lovely touches but, as yet, he can’t own games in the same way as Rooney does from the number ten position. In fact, we believe that Rooney could turn out to be the perfect partner for van Persie. The Dutchman has already scored 5 goals for his new club but, paradoxically, has been a fairly peripheral figure during the games. His new team mates are still working him out and, consequently, he simply hasn’t had the service that will bring the best out of him.
If anyone can optimise the finishing skills and movement of van Persie it’s Wayne Rooney. Against Newcastle on Wednesday we saw the vision that Manchester United have lacked in the sublime scouser’s absence. Time and again he split the Toon defence with his vision and accuracy reminding us all that Manchester United are immeasurably poorer in his absence.
RVP is a great finisher but he can only finish if he gets the right service. United fans don’t want to see RVP play as well as he did for Arsenal. They want to see him play better. The best football he has ever played. I can’t think of a better person to facilitate this than Wazza. After a month long false start, we should now begin to see the blossoming of what could become the most prolific Premier League partnership of all time.
Salivate away United fans….
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