The Dutchman says he is ready to take the criticism for dropping the former Arsenal skipper, but says the player’s fitness should be a priority and claims he is aware of what needs to be done with the striker.
Van Persie was the part of the Netherlands squad that finished third in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which was coached by the current United manager. The 30-year-old is currently on a holiday and will return to training on Monday.
The 62-year-old manager admitted that Van Persie is keen on playing every game, but Van Gaal says the Dutch international will miss the start of the Premier League season.
“Robin will begin training on Monday, but he won’t play in the friendly against Valencia on August 12, definitely not,” Van Gaal said, as reported in the Daily Mirror.
“And he won’t play in the Premier League at the start either, I think. People can criticise me for that decision but I know what you have to do with players who have had three weeks’ holiday.”
“Hopefully, Robin will get his fitness back very fast. But at this moment, he won’t be playing.”
“Robin wants to play every game, I know that, but so do the other 30 players in the squad. But players have to train and Robin needs a full training regime behind him before he can play again,” new United manager said.
Van Gaal’s decision to not include his compatriot should not be criticised. Van Persie should not be rushed for the opening game, especially when he has not been a part of the club’s pre-season tour.
The Red Devils’ boss can use Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck to lead United’s attack as the England international duo has been impressive so far in the US.