Van Persie praises Manchester United transfer target, is he up to scratch?

Stefan de Vrij has been linked again with Manchester United, and Robin van Persie is a clear fan.

Stefan de Vrij is reportedly back near the top of Manchester United's radar, with The Mail suggesting he could be bought for a bargain £7 million plus add-ons.

The Feyenoord centre-back will not be moving until his World Cup involvement is over at least, where he is part of Holland's starting XI under manager Louis van Gaal.

His performance against Mexico in the second round, drew praise from striker Robin van Persie, who posted a photo on his Instagram page of the duo.

On it he wrote: "W/ @stefandevrij3 rock solid as always!!"

Clearly De Vrij is a player Van Persie rates highly, and would not be upset to have as a teammate at Manchester United next year.

But how have his performances rated, and how did they compare to United centre-back Chris Smalling's only start for England in the tournament?

  MatchMatchdayInterception WonWon TackleEffective ClearanceAerial WonMins
Stefan de Vrij vs Australia 02 0 2 6 1 90
Stefan de Vrij vs Mexico 04 1 3 12 4 90
Chris Smalling vs Costa Rica 03 3 1 6 3 90
Stefan de Vrij vs Spain 01 4 4 2 0 77
Stefan de Vrij vs Chile 03 4 0 5 0 90

Statistically, three out of De Vrij's performances outperformed Smalling when it came to tackles won. Two of his four bettered the Englishman in terms of interceptions.

In the toughest game of the lot, against Mexico, De Vrij stepped up, making an impressive 12 clearances and winning four aerial duels.

Smalling certainly didn't let himself down in his one and only display, but De Vrij has shown through the tournament so far that he is capable of performing to a high standard consistently, in a competition which demands only the best.

De Vrij goes up against Costa Rica, who Smalling played against, in the next round, and then a potential semi-final against Brazil or Colombia awaits if the Dutch go through.

For a reported fee starting at £7 million, De Vrij, 22, has shown he is worth a punt - and has more long-term prospects than Miranda of Atletico Madrid who has also been linked, and Thomas Vermaelen.

Van Gaal knows him better than anybody, but Van Persie already appears impressed with what he has seen.

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