In his short Manchester United career, Robin Van Persie has established himself as the key figure in Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Against Tottenham on Sunday, Van Persie made it 11 goals in his last 11 games, taking his total tally for the season to 18. Such scintillating form has ensured Van Persie hero status with the Old Trafford faithful.  

Not only has Van Persie scored an abundance of goals but these have come in big games and at crucial stages during matches. He has shown he is the man for the big occasion by scoring against many of United's main rivals - who can forget his last-minute winner against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium?

Many criticised Sir Alex Ferguson for signing a 29-year-old for £24m on a four-year contract back in August. But those who doubted Ferguson's sanity once again have been proved wrong. The player has gone from strength-to-strength.

True, Wayne Rooney has had injury worries and has been asked to play in different positions in order to accommodate the Dutchman, but even so, Van Persie has been such an instant hit that Rooney's absence has not necessarily affected the team. Rooney's work rate and endeavour is second-to-none and has been missed during games, but Van Persie has given the side that extra bit of quality when required.

With Sir Alex quite happy to rotate players in his starting XI, it appears that Van Persie is now the constant in the side, and has firmly established himself as United's lead striker. Rooney must take some of the credit for this as he has willingly taken up an unselfish role where he may receive less of the headlines for his contributions. 

Van Persie's instant impact is the talk of the Premier League, and he is the one player that defenders up and down the country fear most. The ex-Arsenal captain is undoubtedly one of the signings of the season, and it looks as though he could be the difference in the race for the title come May.


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