Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Robin Van Persie to make a difference in the Premier League title race this season.
The United manager signed Van Persie from Arsenal for £24m in the summer, and the Dutchman has hit the ground running at Old Trafford. The Holland international already has eight goals and three assists for Manchester United, and looks to be forming a lethal strike partnership with England international Wayne Rooney.
The duo were excellent against Stoke as United ran out 4-2 winners, and Ferguson admitted it’s something of a headache deciding which strikers to play each week.
Mexican international Javier Hernandez seemed to be the odd one out, with Danny Welbeck preferred alongside Rooney and Van Persie, but Chicharito hit two mid-week goals in the Champions League to rescue three points for United, and put himself in contention to start against Chelsea on Sunday.
The match at Stamford Bridge is one of the season’s premier fixtures, and may give an early indication to the relative strengths and weaknesses of the pair of perennial title contenders.
And Ferguson thinks Van Persie could give United the edge this season, after last campaign’s final-day disappointment.
“Robin’s performances are getting better all the time now,” Ferguson told The Daily Mirror. “He’s got there with his fitness, which is fine now.
“Last week against Stoke and on Tuesday night against Braga, his movement was fantastic. I really was impressed with that.
“Robin’s cross last week [against Stoke] for Wayne’s goal was the kind of cross a defender hates – it was whipped in, between the last defender and goalkeeper. It was brilliant.
“I thought it was really top, top stuff. Hopefully it does make a difference. We bought him for that reason – to make a difference.”