Updates from Thursday, Sept. 11
Manchester United's official Twitter feed has the latest on van Persie:
Manchester United @ManUtd
Louis van Gaal says there are no injury concerns with Robin van Persie. "He's fitter than ever." #mufc2014-9-11 16:08:48
Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 3
Robin van Persie has rubbished fears that Radamel Falcao was brought to Manchester United because the Dutchman requires surgery.
It was suggested that Louis van Gaal has major concerns over Van Persie's fitness, but the striker told Fox Sports NL:
I am impressed that people can pick up the imagination to invent something like that.
I do not know where it comes from and can say with my hand on my heart that I won't be in a hospital to have the operation.
Updates from Sunday, Aug. 24
Manchester United's official Twitter feed announced that Van Persie was back in the lineup on Sunday:
Updates from Friday, Aug. 22
Manchester United's official Twitter feed reported good news on Van Persie's status:
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 21
Robin van Persie has confirmed he is ready to return to the Manchester United team ahead of their weekend trip to Sunderland.
Van Persie tweeted on Thursday:
Updates from Friday, Aug 15
Manchester United's official Twitter feed reported on Van Persie's status from Saturday's opening match:
Updates from Monday, Aug. 4
Robin van Persie delivered the following update via his Twitter account on Monday:
Robin van Persie will miss the beginning of the 2014-15 Premier League campaign in a bid to ensure he's at optimum fitness after enjoying an extended post-World Cup break.
The Manchester United striker was a part of the Netherlands team that Louis van Gaal led to a third-place finish in Brazil, and Joe Bernstein of the Daily Mail reports he'll now be absent for the season opener on Aug. 16.
Van Persie will also miss the scheduled pre-season friendly against Valencia on Aug. 12, with the aim of preserving himself for the 2014-15 term, following a season that was rife with injury.
Van Gaal defended his decision from the club's United States tour training camp in Detroit, per Bernstein's report:
I’m sure he won’t play in those games. He has to train. I’m sorry, but when you have three weeks’ holiday, you need training sessions, not a game. Everyone can criticise me, but I know what you have to do with players who have had that length of holiday. The player himself always wants to play, but the other 30 players want to play also.
The Red Devils have gone unbeaten in their pre-season preparations thus far, upending the likes of L.A. Galaxy, Roma, Inter and Real Madrid on their U.S. expedition.
During that time, the manager has tried out a plethora of players both young and old in a variety of positions to adapt to his new system, yielding largely positive results.
In the absence of Van Persie, the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez have stood up to provide the goals, scoring 10 between them.
OptaJoe provides some statistical background on what the Dutchman's omission may mean for Manchester United at the start of the campaign:
Van Persie heads into the new season as one of the potential candidates to take the club captaincy, having stood as Van Gaal's national team leader for some time now.
However, Paul Scholes is quoted by the Daily Mail in suggesting that it should be Wayne Rooney who's next to take the armband's responsibilities:
Whether he wears the physical signifier or not, Van Persie will have a monumental role to play in ensuring his manager's first season in charge at Old Trafford is a successful one.
Some may see the decision to rest now as a risk considering how essential their strong start will be, but in the long run, Van Persie's preservation is of course critical.
Turning attention exclusively back to club matters, both Van Persie and Van Gaal alike will have big aspirations for what they expect to produce at United in 2014-15, but the former's campaign will have to wait—at least for now.