At 29, Robin van Persie may have appeared too old to make it on Sir Alex Ferguson’s transfer list, but he has been a revelation since joining Manchester United to become one of the manager’s greatest signings.
Van Persie was handed his United debut on a cold Monday evening at Goodison Park at the start of the Premier League season, where he found it difficult to get involved.
For anyone doubting Van Persie's credentials however, the next 24 games in the league, have been sensational. The Dutchman scored a stunning first time effort against Fulham on his Old Trafford debut, and hasn’t looked back since.
Against Southampton, he hit a crucial hat trick with two late goals turning defeat into an unlikely 3-2 victory, despite missing a penalty, and he's now netted a total of 18 Premiership goals.
Even more remarkable has been his contributions in the big games this season. The winner at Anfield, a goal at Stamford Bridge against last season’s European Champions, a powerful strike against former club Arsenal, and the winner in his debut Manchester Derby, at the Etihad, in the dying seconds.
Other memorable scenes include; an impeccable goal at Upton Park to salvage a draw in the FA Cup and another winner against arch rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.
However, it’s not just the goals that are making the difference as RVP is also influencing the team with a number of assists, 6 so far in the Premier League alone.
Manchester United and Robin van Persie appears a match made in heaven, and Sir Alex often speaks of his bewilderment at the level of his talent.
Even more remarkable than his scoring record is the fact that he has proved the doubters wrong by remaining injury free, and there is an argument to suggest that the Dutchman’s new role as a central striker is helping him avoid the treatment room.
Van Persie has been the catalyst in United's brilliant first half of the season. Their best ever start to a Premier League, an F.A. Cup tie against Reading to come, and a mouthwatering 'Perfect Match' with Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16.
If United are to win anything this season, Van Persie’s arrival will be seen as crucial. Thus far, the 29-year-old has been the difference. The Red Devils lead the Premier League title race by 9 points, and top the form sheet, with only fixtures away at Arsenal and home ties against Chelsea and Man City looking particularly tricky.
But in this form, United should fear no one. A positive display against Real Madrid in Spain next week and it could be another momentous year for Sir Alex and his team.
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