Robin van Persie believes that any player at Manchester United, no matter who they are, should be willing and able to play in any position that they are asked to by the manager.
The 30-year-old was speaking in an interview with MUTV and while not directly aimed at Shinji Kagawa, the point very much relates to his current situation at United where he hasn’t been given his No. 10 preferred role on a permanent basis.
This week, Kagawa took the first step when he said he was happy to play in any position but he now needs to show that to Moyes.
“Most players get frustrated when they don’t play in their position,” Van Persie said in a very honest interview.
“They are out of their comfort zone but it is a good thing to get out of that. It is a test for those players because they are going into a new situation they aren’t used to.
“First they have to deal with it mentally because a reaction of many people is ‘this isn’t good, this isn’t my position, the manager doesn’t understand it’ but you have to make the most of where the manager plays you.
“If you look at the Zidane’s and those players in this world, you can put them in any position on the pitch for ten minutes on the left wing, right wing, even centre back and he will show you how to play football in that position, and he will be the best.
“So, for me, players who are all round and handle any situation in any game, those are the top players. If you can learn that from a young age, it is only a good thing.”
This is the point that I have tried to make about Kagawa. It isn’t a case of making Kagawa a scapegoat but he has to realise, just like Rooney has, that sometimes you have to play out of position to suit the needs of the team.
In recent games, Kagawa has actually been given his preferred role because of Van Persie’s injuries but what he will soon have to do is go back on the left wing to accommodate Moyes’ first choice strike partners.
Professional footballers adapt to new positions, it is what makes top players world class and Kagawa has all the talent in the world, he just needs to find a way to be able to apply it fully in new scenarios.