Should Robin van Persie Be Benched by Manchester United and Your FPL Team?

Should-van-Persie-be-Benched-for-FPL-TeamsShould Manchester United bench out of form Robin van Persie? The Manchester United star forward has been struggling recently and unfortunately this seems to be an ongoing trend dating back further than just the past twelve games of this 2014-15 season. What does this mean for your Fantasy Premier League team? I will be breaking down some of his statistics and following up with advice for fantasy owners.

I have been a big fan of Robin van Persie’s for a long time. I was there for his debut with Feyenoord back in the 2001-02 season and knew that he was going to be a spectacular talent. When he moved from Feyenoord to Arsenal I was happy for him, but disappointed in the choice to join the Gunners.

It was a good move for him, since it allowed him a lot of freedom to play and develop into one of the best forwards in the Premier League. When he finally moved to Manchester United I was ecstatic. Not only did United get an outstanding player, but he was already a favorite of mine.

Winning the Premier League in Sir Alex’s last season was a magical experience for everyone involved, but SAF’s departure seemed to leave van Persie feeling jaded. The hiring of David Moyes seemed to send him further into a spiral including long stays on the sidelines thanks to numerous injuries.

This season has not started well for him either. Despite captaining the Netherlands to third place in the World Cup and scoring one of the goals of the tournament, he even had struggles over the summer.

All of this is to say that he has been on the decline over the past year and a half. His best performances since the 20th title winning season with Manchester United have come when playing for the Netherlands. Even then there were times that he appeared to be tiring.

Van Persie’s form has been dipping for some time and the statistics are showing a decline across most of statistics. All statistics are from Squawka and are on a per game basis.

Robin van Persie's Declining Statistics

As you can see there is a definite decline across nearly all of the major statistical categories over the past three seasons. He definitely had a resurgence during the World Cup, but this could be attributed to the fact that it is the World Cup.

With that said, the tactical changes he has had to cope with are almost certainly a contributing factor. Under Sir Alex, van Persie was the go to man who was bought with the intention of making him the spearhead of the attack. Everything revolved around him and was working to create space. This has changed since Ferguson’s departure.

Moyes almost seemed to seek out alternatives while catering to the needs of Rooney while van Gaal has continued to tinker with formations. While most of these formations should be beneficial for van Persie, he seems to be coping with his loss of pace coupled with what appears to be tiredness.

At this point I think it would be helpful for him to have some time on the bench. James Wilson is available to play and could feature against Hull City and Stoke City with van Persie on the bench while Falcao continues to rehab and prepare to return.

What this means for you as a fantasy soccer team owner is that you will need to pay special attention to Manchester United’s pre-match team sheets. It is very likely that he will be getting a rest at some time in the very near future. Additionally, it would be good to pay attention to his return to the lineup. A Robin van Persie firing on all cylinders is capable of giving you a lot of points with his ability to both create chances for others and for himself.