Thursday 19 October 2017

Van Persie injury adds to pressure on Moyes

Manchester United's Robin Van Persie (L) walks past manager David Moyes during a training session
Manchester United's Robin Van Persie (L) walks past manager David Moyes during a training session

Jamie Holland

DAVID MOYES has been dealt an injury hammer-blow after striker Robin van Persie was ruled out for four weeks with a thigh injury.

After a largely uninterrupted debut campaign with the Old Trafford outfit, Van Persie has suffered a series of setbacks this time around.

Troubled by groin and toe problems, Van Persie was making only his 16th appearance of the campaign when he was introduced as a substitute during last Tuesday's Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Dutchman had been on the field for only four minutes before he swung over the corner that Phil Jones' swept home for United's winner.

However, elation with the goal, which confirmed United as group stage winners, was tempered by news that Van Persie had strained his thigh as he was taking the corner.

It means the 30-year-old will miss tomorrow's trip to Aston Villa, the festive programme, Wednesday's League Cup quarter-final against Stoke, plus the first leg of any subsequent semi-final and the FA Cup third round encounter with Swansea on January 5.

SETBACK

For Moyes, who is looking to guide United back up the table after successive home losses, it is a major setback given Van Persie's status as Golden Boot winner for the past two seasons.

Although he has not reached the levels of last term, Van Persie has seven in the league this year, most recently when he headed the winner against his old club Arsenal on November 10.

Moyes could be forgiven for believing he was cursed given influential midfielder Michael Carrick has been missing since that Arsenal game, when he aggravated an Achilles complaint.

In addition, £27.5m new-boy Marouane Fellaini has been troubled by a wrist injury and is now laid low by a back complaint, while veteran pair Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, plus England defender Chris Smalling also missed the Shakhtar victory.

Meanwhile, Adnan Januzaj has claimed he wants to stay at Old Trafford for the remainder of his career.

The 18-year-old has already been rewarded with a new five-year contract and made his Champions League debut in Tuesday's victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

ASTON VILLA V MAN UTD,

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Irish Independent

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