Many have hailed the Dutchman’s transfer from Arsenal to United last summer as a large factor in the Red Devils’ 20th league title win this term and it’s hard to disagree with them after he scored 26 goals in 38 Premier League appearances.
The previous term in 2011/12 Van Persie netted 30 goals in 38 appearances in his last season with Arsenal. However, before then his career at the Emirates had been plagued by a string of injuries that sidelined him for months on end in some cases.
His previous top total in the league for the Gunners had been 18 goals in 2010/11 but prior to that season he had managed no higher than 11 at the Emirates.
At almost 30-years of age the Dutch ace had enjoyed the best form of his entire career and shows no signs of slowing down yet. His incredible technique and finishing quality sets him apart as the most dangerous frontman in the country.
It takes a special player to keep Wayne Rooney out of the team and Van Persie is a very very special talent – some of his goals this term in his debut season for United have been simply stunning and it’s hard to see any other striker in England being capable of his level of ability in front of goal at present.
However, he is entering the twilight years of his career now and the Premier League is changing. After what has been an disappointing season for runners-up Manchester City they will certainly be investing in squad additions this summer, as will the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham who are all expected to bring in strikers imminently.
Firstly, the Dutch ace will have to stay fit – he has enjoyed his best period of form and fitness but his previous injury record includes serious muscle tears, strains, and an ankle break. He must be closely monitored and get a decent pre-season under his belt to ensure he can be available for all 38 games next term.
He will also be competing with much younger players next term – it remains to be seen whether the likes of Radamel Falcao, Stevan Jovetic, and Edinson Cavani actually end up on one-way flights to England this summer but the likelihood will be that he will have stronger competition for the Golden Boot next season.
Perhaps if Luis Suarez can curb his enthusiasm for mild cannibalism next term he could be Van Persie’s strongest competition as he was for most of this season and if Tottenham can hold on to Gareth Bale, it’s hard to imagine him not being there and there abouts with his goal tally.
Can he do it three years in a row? Of course, he can - he scores when he wants - but whether he will remains to be seen.
image: © little-pete