Robin van Persie set for Manchester United comeback

At last for David Moyes, there is a chink of light to pierce the winter’s gloom: Robin van Persie is expected on the training field on Tuesday.

What will be interesting to see now is whether the Manchester United striker has it in him to save his manager’s season.

Of all United’s players, few, if any, have been discussed as regularly as Van Persie this term. In Manchester, talk that the Holland forward is less than happy at Old Trafford refuses to go away. Both Van Persie and Moyes have denied the rumours.

The United manager has described the talk as ‘nonsense’, adding: ‘I just don’t know where it is coming from.’

Van Persie himself described Moyes as ‘our leader’ just last week. ‘He needs time and eventually he will change things,’ he said.

Not until Van Persie returns to the side and starts to score, though, will the 30-year-old convince everyone that he can be the player of last season.

Van Persie has not played since damaging a thigh taking a corner in a Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk at the start of December. Prior to that, he had missed games with injuries to his toe and groin.

So far this season, he has played just 11 times in the Barclays Premier League and has scored seven goals. He remains the most natural goalscorer in Moyes’s squad, and so the manager will hope Van Persie can remain fit as United attempt to mount a challenge in the Champions League.

Van Persie has always been prone to injuries. The 110 games he played for club and country over the last two seasons were as many as he managed across the previous three.

The former Arsenal forward has — according to those who have played and worked with him — always been a player prone to a moan and a groan and one who needs to be 100 per cent fit to get himself on the pitch.

The whispers in Manchester have suggested he has never got over the departure of the manager who signed him, Sir Alex Ferguson, and has struggled with some of Moyes’s training methods.

With Wayne Rooney also back in training yesterday, there is cautious optimism that a partnership that yielded 37 Premier League goals last season may be reformed soon.