Sir Alex Ferguson signed Van Persie over Lewandowski so he could leave with PL title

Robin van Persie and Sir Alex Ferguson announcing the signing of the Dutchamn.

Remember what a brilliant signing Robin van Persie was for Manchester United?

He was poached from Arsenal after a brilliant Golden Boot-winning season as the necessary firepower to deliver a Premier League title.

And he did just that, along with another Golden Boot.

It turned out to Sir Alex Ferguson's final season as a manager and he went out on a fitting high - truthfully, the only way he could have gone out.

Then things took a turn, somehow.

The 'David Moyes era' will have you either laughing or crying, depending on your allegiances, kicking off six years of dull football without major success.

Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho did deliver trophies, but no Premier League title and United haven't threatened in the Champions League for a long time now.

And according to information from journalist Rory Smith, their fall from grace can be traced back to that last year of Ferguson.

Van Persie delivered the Premeir League trophy in Ferguson's final season.

Smith talks about United's lack of long-term planning. Principle among that is their decision to sign Van Persie, going on 29, instead of young striker Robert Lewandowski.

You can check out Smith's comments here:

Lewandowski turned 24 in August of 2012, having scored 30 goals the previous season as Borussia Dortmund retained the Bundesliga.

"What Ferguson did in the last couple of years, and it's totally understandable and he deserved the chance to do it, was say 'I want my title, I want to go out on a high with the title,'" Smith told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"So when they signed Van Persie, there was one other striker that they were looking at. That one other striker was Robert Lewandowski.

"Now a club who is thinking about the long term says: now Van Persie's fantastic but Lewandowski will be our first-choice number nine, potentially, for - I mean, he's still going now - so another seven years.

Robert Lewandowski has enjoyed a brilliant career.

"You go and sign Lewandowski, you don't sign Van Persie."

United did get that league title largely thanks to Van Persie's goals but it was the only top-quality year they got out of him.

Lewandowski, on the other hand, has scored 253 goals for Dortmund and Bayern Munich since they passed on him.

In hindsight, United really could have used the Pole over the last seven years. They simply must regret not signing him - as good as that title was.

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