Louis van Gaal has claimed that Robin van Persie was “not fit enough for the Premier League” in his final season at Manchester United.
Van Persie spearheaded United’s attack for their most recent Premier League triumph, scoring 26 goals during the 2012/2013 campaign, following a controversial £24million move from Arsenal.
In the following season under David Moyes, Van Persie scored 18 goals, as the Red Devils finished seventh in the league, before the striker’s compatriot, Van Gaal, took over as manager.
Van Persie was favourite to be named captain for the 2014/2015 season, but Van Gaal opted for Rooney instead and the Netherlands star only managed 10 goals, in what would be his final season for the club.
Asked about his reputation as a defensive manager in England, Van Gaal told the BBC: “It is not true. You say it was boring. Why was it boring? Maybe it was boring-attacking but that was because the opponent parked the bus.
“Then you have to play at a higher tempo, which is difficult. Then you have to see what kind of players you have.
“Wayne Rooney should have been the number 10 but Robin van Persie was not fit enough for the Premier League, which meant Rooney was the best striker we had.
“But Manchester United needs the best striker in the world.”