Robin Van Persie Should Be Considered as Future Manchester United Captain

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentFebruary 18, 2014

Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring against Stoke during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke, England, Saturday Feb. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

In a world where every word, tweet or otherwise, is analysed for its true meaning, it's not surprising that when Manchester United's official website omitted Robin van Persie from a list of potential captains (account required) it caused a stir.

With Nemanja Vidic set to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, United are looking for a new captain.

The credentials of Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and David De Gea were all discussed on United's website but Van Persie didn't make the cut.

Does David Moyes not believe the Dutch striker is captain material? Is it a coded message that he is set to leave Old Trafford this summer? 

The answer, simply, is no.

It's a fair assumption, with plenty on his plate as it is, that Moyes doesn't edit the club's website. 

It's also unlikely that the article's writer canvassed the opinion of the United manager before putting pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11:  (from right) Danny Welbeck, Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United celebrate with the trophy and team mates after victory in the FA Community Shield match between Manchester United and Wigan Athletic at Wembl
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Whether Van Persie is deemed a realistic candidate for the armband by United's website or not, he should, and probably will, be considered when the time comes.

He's done the job before, for Arsenal and for Holland. He's also guaranteed to start whenever he's fit, unlike Fletcher.

At 30 years of age, and with nearly 500 first-team games under his belt, he's more experienced than Evans, Jones or De Gea.

And last season, even without a symbolic strip of elastic round his arm, he led by example, scoring 30 goals in 48 games as United won a record 20th title.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09:  Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie of Manchester United prepare to kick off after conceding the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford on February 9, 20
Michael Regan/Getty Images

In truth, the identity of United's next captain is the least of Moyes's worries. 

Seventh in the Premier League table, 11 points behind fourth-placed Liverpool and out of both domestic cup competitions, he is facing a major rebuild this summer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United hugs teammate Patrice Evra after victory in the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on March 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo b
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

He needs a central midfielder, maybe two, a left-back and possibly another centre-back. 

Along with Vidic, there's a chance Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand will also head for the exit. Ryan Giggs may decide the time is right to end his playing career and focus on his coaching responsibilities. 

As such, picking a new captain is way down on Moyes's to-do list.

But when the times comes, Van Persie, along with Rooney, Evans, Jones, De Gea, Fletcher, Michael Carrick and, if he stays, Evra, should all be considered.

Van Persie has the experience and the temperament to do the job. Whether United's official website thinks so or not.