Stats: Both Rooney & Van Persie WOULD make Manchester City team

Former Manchester City striker Rodney Marsh thinks no Manchester United player would make City's first team.

Writing in the Daily Mail, the 69-year-old claimed that even Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie would fail to get into Manuel Pellegrini's best XI, while also branding the latter a "desperation signing."

"Fundamentally, City have signed better players than United in the last three or four years. United got Robin van Persie but I thought he was a desperation signing," Marsh said.

"How many United players would I put in the City side? None. No-one, not even Wayne Rooney and he is by far United’s best player."

But what do the stats say?

NameTeamGoals / appsAssists / appsSuccessful Dribbles/ appsAerial Duels Won / appsAppsMins
Sergio Agüero Man City 0.88 0.29 1.53 0.53 17 1,199
Robin van Persie Man Utd 0.61 0.17 0.83 1.11 18 1,466
Wayne Rooney Man Utd 0.52 0.40 1.48 0.92 25 2,103
Danny Welbeck Man Utd 0.45 0.05 0.85 0.45 20 1,194
Edin Dzeko Man City 0.38 0.05 0.38 2.81 21 1,251
Álvaro Negredo Man City 0.36 0.12 0.44 1.76 25 1,605
Stevan Jovetic Man City 0.13 0 1.25 0.25 8 247
Javier Hernández Man Utd 0.12 0.12 0.06 0.18 17 561

As Opta data shows, there is a strong case in suggesting that both Rooney and Van Persie would indeed make Manchester City's first team.

Although Sergio Aguero is by far the best forward for either side statistically, the Man United duo follow closely behind, with even Danny Welbeck enjoying a better goals per game ratio than the rest of Man City's strikeforce.

In terms of both goals and assists, Van Persie surpasses everyone but Aguero, while 28-year-old Rooney's assists per game are higher than any other forward in Manchester. His successful dribbles, meanwhile, average only 0.5 behind the Argentine.

Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo do triumph in the air, although in that department, both Rooney & RVP surpass Aguero.

With both 25-year-old Aguero and Dutchman Van Persie out injured at the moment, then, were Rooney available to Pellegrini, the England striker would surely be City's first-choice forward.

And were all three fit, Pellegrini would be able to rotate some of the best strikers in European football.

So, while Manchester City possess a squad filled with world-class talent - and one that few can deny is superior to that of their cross-city rivals - United's strikeforce could still add something at the Etihad Stadium.

Whether Rooney can make his mark against Man City tonight, however, is a slightly different matter.

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