So Manchester United have agreed a deal with Arsenal to bring Robin van Persie to Old Trafford. Thankfully for all parties involved the move hasn’t dragged on until Jim White’s favourite time of year (Transfer Deadline Day).
RVP gets what he wants – a move away from the Emriates to a club where he can win trophies (more importantly league championships).
United get what they want – a striker in the prime of his career who when fit can get 20-25 goals a season, who can help the younger strikers at the club and take some of the pressure off Wayne Rooney.
Arsenal get what they want – £15m up front for a player who wants out of their club who was about to enter the last year of his contract. That’s money they Arsene Wenger can use sensibly to bring in 2-3 players to come in and bolster his squad.
So what now for RVP?
Aside from inheriting the prestigious #9 shirt from Dimitar Berbatov (who surely now is on his way out of Old Trafford) he is set to lead the line alongside Rooney, van Persie will be focused on winning silverware and proving that Sir Alex Ferguson was right to bring him to Manchester amid the doubts of the Dutchman being injury-prone.
With any player who has struggled with injury problems in the past, there will always be question marks about their long-term fitness and whether or not they are one injury from being a waste of money.
However some players take time to get over injuries and perhaps van Persie has made changes to his training-regime which has helped him stay injury-free. That’s just a thought for some of the doubters, although perhaps he could have had a ‘lucky’ year. Only time will tell.
One key area where van Persie will benefit United is in Europe. With all due respect to Dimitar Berbatov, he has flopped in the Champions League only scoring 5 goals in 26 games, with a staggering four of those coming in the 2008/09 group stages of the competition.
Comfortable drifting out wide and dropping deep to receive the ball, van Persie can create attacks and score goals-out-of-nothing. Rooney of course can do that and has done it well, but perhaps it would be best to have him in on the end of crosses in the areas where he can hurt teams the most – in the penalty box. Of course van Persie isn’t bad either in the penalty box either!
Another reason why van Persie’s signing could prove vital is that in the past when Rooney has been injured or out-of-form United have lacked a presence up-front and as good as Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez are now, they don’t carry as big a threat as last season’s top-scorer at the club does.
Of course both players are still developing at the club and have bright futures, but van Persie is a big-name player who can if Rooney is injured lead the line leaving United no weaker up top. He is a player who makes the most of his chances and hasn’t too many times over the years gone wanting in the big-games.
Yes he might have just turned 29 and will be 33 when his 4-year deal ends. But he’s a world-class player and those are always welcomed at any club.
What could be more important though is the role that he will have being one of the more experienced/senior players in the squad. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have been crucial in inspiring the younger lads at the club and if van Persie can follow by their example and do the business on the pitch, then in four years time there won’t be too many fans out there who will be regretting signing him.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87