When Fergie snapped him up from arch-rivals Arsenal the price-tag amazed some with the 29-year-old injury prone goalscoring machine arriving for £24 million pound this summer. So after picking up an injury for Holland this week should United fans temper their enthusiasm slightly over the striker?
When Manchester United signed him for £4.5million from Venezia he arrived in the post Schmeichel era and battled for the number one jersey with Mark Bosnich and Raimond van der Gouw at Old Trafford.
Like Van Persie, he actually had a decent start, making a string of saves on his debut against Liverpool and being rewarded the Man of the Match. Much like RVP’s performance against Southampton there was a comparative blip as he flapped at Sami Hyppia’s goal in the game just as The Dutchman’s soft penalty could have been costly for The Red Devils on the South Coast.
But nobody remembers such blips if you make up for them which in both cases the players did.
It wasn’t until he made successive mistakes against Southampton and Chelsea that the fans called for his head and he was gone, discarded back to Italy with Reggina.
Obviously I am not suggesting that RVP will struggle spectacularly - he is proven in the Premier League after all, but the assertion is the risk one takes with the signing of a player pushing 30, especially at high prices.
It needs to be a short-term an instant success. There will be no hanging around, sending them out on loan, and waiting for them to fulfil potential, the age of the player dictates that. So Van Persie needs to stay fit and on form.
While the injury sustained representing the Dutch has been called trivial by Louis Van Gaal and he is expected to be fine, the sight of him bravely hobbling off to the side-lines is one that Arsenal fans became far to accustomed to and Manchester United fans would not want to suffer the same.
Remember this is a man whose injury problems were so severe and times so desperate that he had experimental and radical treatment in Serbia back in 2009 involving a placenta for its healing mechanisms.
If he stays fit; he will obviously score goals but the topsy-turvy and short lived career of the previous most expensive 29-year-old at United is a fine example of just how quickly football can turn around on you.
Here is Taibi’s United debut against Liverpool complete with his error and saves; and Sir Alex even comparing him to Peter Schmeichel (in a roundabout way)…
image: © wonker