Robin van Persie's move from Arsenal to Manchester United over the summer transfer window was one of the most incredible deals that we saw take place, with the Red Devils to stand as very big winners from the Gunners' contract dispute.
After all, the Dutch international striker had just come off a season where he netted 38 goals across all competition for Arsenal—doing so in just 48 appearances for the club—and proving that he is one of the top strikers in world football.
His 30 goals and 14 assists in the English Premier League were a testament to his skill and talent in attack—rightly winning the Golden Boot Award in the process.
Plagued with injury right throughout his career, van Persie was finally proving that, when healthy, he can be one of the most devastating strikers on the planet and a man that should definitely be feared by all defensive units.
Which made the Red Devils' signing of him huge news for the Manchester club and a huge loss for the North London club.
Where Arsenal had just sold their best player once more, United now had two world-class strikers now in their lineup and with the addition of Shinji Kagawa behind the pair coupled with their world-class wingers, Sir Alex Ferguson would have one of the most potent attacks in the league.
The season so far testifies that to be true, with van Persie leading the Red Devils' attack to a plethora of goals throughout the Premier League and Champions League so far.
And with a large majority of the season still to come, the question must be asked—how many goals will Robin van Persie finish with this season?
I mean, if he can score 38 goals last year for Arsenal, is it possible for him to even bigger and better things for the Red Devils this year?
A quick glance at the Dutch international's numbers would suggest that it is indeed very likely that he will score more goals this year than the year before.
Van Persie has scored five goals through his six Premier League appearances, and should he keep scoring at that rate throughout the season, he's likely to finish with around 30-32 league goals—numbers very similar to last year's.
But then, we have all the other competitions, with the UEFA Champions League a particularly crucial factor in van Persie's goal-scoring this year.
He has, after all, netted two goals from two games so far in the tournament, and if United can make a run deep into the competition—further than Arsenal did last season—then the 29-year-old will be afforded more opportunities to find the back of the net.
And more opportunities will equal more goals for van Persie.
Now the argument against van Persie netting more goals this year is simple, and flows out of two main points—the first of which is that the Dutch international has only netted the goals he has this year because Rooney has been injured.
Meaning that when Rooney is back into the attack, RVP will get fewer and fewer opportunities as the attack gets shared around.
The second is most likely regarding his injuries, and whether or not the 29-year-old can maintain peak fitness throughout the season given his career of injuries.
Whilst both of those points are valid, they are perhaps cancelled out by the simple fact that Manchester United have a better squad this season than Arsenal did last season.
They have better players, a greater depth of talent and better playmakers than the Gunners did last year.
Countless times, van Persie simply had to create goals out of nothing last year, or he had to try to do it all to find the back of the net.
Simply put, that is not the case this season. He has depth and talent around him, and great assist-makers off of whom he is bound to thrive and score goals.
Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick—all are world-class players who have proven themselves as attacking threats. Van Persie is another player in this attack—the one who spearheads it—and will bag himself plenty of goals out of their brilliant work in attack this season.
So can he score more goals than last year?
The team around him is better, and he won't have to do as much to put the ball in the back of the net given the strength of the Red Devils' midfield.
Van Persie is brilliant striker and can succeed in all competitions that United will play in this season—scoring goals and driving the Red Devils' attack to great results.
Last season was a phenomenal year for the Dutch international, and one that he will surely remember forever as the year that his career finally got going in world football.
I wonder what he'll remember this season by.
How many goals will Robin van Persie score for United this year?
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