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Van Gaal: RVP 'lucky' to start for Man United

Van Persie partners James Wilson against Liverpool. Credit: PA

Robin van Persie was lucky to keep his place in Man Utd's starting XI when his form dipped earlier this season.

That's the view shared by United's manager, Louis van Gaal, who also coached the Dutchman during his time in charge of the Netherlands.

Van Persie's double at Southampton last week ensure the Red Devils picked up another Premier League victory and moved up to third, but Van Gaal believes he would not have been playing if he had more options.

There was a time when Robin wasn’t playing very well, but you have to compare what you have with other players who might take his place.

He was a lucky boy because at that moment Radamel Falcao was injured and I had to compare him with Wayne Rooney and James Wilson. Rooney I can play in a lot of other positions and Wilson is still a young talent still proving himself.

I have always played with two strikers, only three or four times with one, so Robin was lucky. I have a lot of confidence in him though, even when not at his best, because I have explained what I like in a striker. I look for players who do not just score goals but provide an attacking point, linking with other players and able to see the third man as well. Van Persie is one of the best strikers around at that.

– Man United manager Louis van Gaal


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