Robin van Persie has let it be known to Manchester United’s moneymen he would love to agree a longer stay at Old Trafford, which is a significant vote of confidence for new manager David Moyes.
Less than two weeks ago van Persie was reportedly unhappy with Moyes’ new regime, per David Woods of the Daily Star, in a story he quickly rubbished. Now he has told MUTV he wants to commit the rest of his career to United, according to Richard Jolly of ESPN:
I have three more years to go and I would like to stay longer. I know, and I see people around me, making decisions where I think these guys will look back and say, 'Was that a good one?'
I don't want that. I want to play as long as possible at the highest level.
Van Persie has been nothing short of majestic since his switch from Arsenal to United, leading the scoring charts last season as he fired Sir Alex Ferguson’s men to the Premier League title.
Under Moyes the goals have kept coming: two in the Community Shield clash with Wigan, two at Swansea and another in Saturday’s home win over Crystal Palace.
However, the body language has been questioned. Van Persie did not score in United’s two big fixtures of the campaign to date—against Chelsea and Liverpool—and in fact came closer to getting sent off in the latter.
A “friend” was quoted by Woods in the Daily Star, saying: "He feels it isn't the same with the new manager as he misses working with Fergie, who he really loved playing under. Some of Moyes' training methods are not to his liking either."
The mention of training methods struck a chord. Preparation is crucial to van Persie, a player who has struggled with injury problems throughout his career.
He truly only had one injury-free season at Arsenal, during which he topped the goalscoring charts to earn his move to United. However, overtraining or poor man-management both bring the risk of those past problems returning.
At the age of 30 van Persie is experienced enough to speak out if things are wrong, and he certainly would not be prepared to stay at Old Trafford if he did not agree with Moyes’ style.
So the fact he wants to stay suggests the complete opposite is true.
By declaring his wish to spend more than the next three years at United, taking him way past his best at the age of 33 and beyond, van Persie is effectively stating his desire to finish his career with the champions.
He knows United plan for Moyes to stick around that long as well and, like Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic before him, the Netherlands international has shown emphatic solidarity behind the new man.
United begin their first Champions League campaign under the relatively inexperienced Moyes against Bayer Leverkusen at home Tuesday, before heading to the Etihad Sunday for the Manchester derby.
Defeat to neighbours City would leave them with seven points from a possible 15, which would be a desperate situation even at this early stage in the campaign. Van Persie’s vote of confidence could barely have been better-timed for Moyes.