Robin Van Persie has been announced as the Barclays Player of the Month for April – despite being overlooked for two major accolades earlier in the week.

The Manchester United forward came second to Tottenham winger Gareth Bale in the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award.

And the Dutchman was also pipped to the PFA Player of the Year award – again by Bale.

United’s number 20 scored half a dozen goals last month to effectively secure the Premier League title for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.

His hat-trick against Aston Villa on 22 April epitomised Van Persie’s year and featured what many regard as the goal of the season.

The Scot said of his striker: “I remember Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger saying to me ‘he’s better than you think’ when we concluded the deal. He was right.”

Ferguson’s decision to spend more than £20m on a 28-year-old has been well and truly vindicated; Van Persie currently tops the Premier League scoring charts with 25 goals for the season.

Earlier this campaign, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini effectively said that the Sky Blues’ failure to land the hitman in the summer was the difference between them and United

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