Robin van Persie hauled Arsenal, almost single-handedly, to a third-place finish last season before this season's champions, Manchester United, splashed out £24m to buy him from their rivals.

Now, many people are saying Van Persie was the difference in the title race this year, claiming he won United the league. But what did Manchester United's £24m actually gain them?

Here's the breakdown.


Last year, Van Persie netted 37 times for Arsenal, including 30 league goals. This year, the United forward netted a still impressive 29 times, but that is eight less times than in the previous year.


The modern-day striker is not just a goalscorer. Creating and contributing to goals is now part of their role too. Eight assists this year compared to 14 last year for Arsenal has signalled another statistical decline for the Dutchman.


There is no denying United have outshone everyone this year and their points tally at the end of the year typifies their dominance of the league, but as far as the difference between Manchester United and Arsenal is concerned, there is an interesting change.

United, who finished 19 points clear of Arsenal last year, pocketed one of the best strikers in the world whilst Arsenal lost that same striker. The 19-point difference should surely have shot up? But no. Arsenal this year finished three points better off this year than they did last time around, whilst United's points tally remained the same.

Team play

A good player can contribute to a team's overall play without having the stats to back up such quality performances. However, Manchester United have scored three less goals in the league this season when compared with last season and conceded a staggering 10 goals more.

That results in a negative swing of 13 goals when Van Persie was in the side compared to when he wasn't. 

There's no doubt Van Persie and United have both had fantastic seasons, but the evidence seems to suggest two things. One: Manchester United did spend a large amount of money on a player who's not been as good as he was last term and two: Van Persie didn't win United the league - although something else must have.


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