Robin Van Persie: 5 Reasons RVP Was a Necessity for the Red Devils
Near the end of this summer's transfer window, Manchester United announced that they had secured the transfer of world-class striker Robin van Persie. United fans were understandably excited about the idea of a player of RVP's stature joining an already talented Red Devils squad.
RVP's play this season has proven that his transfer from Arsenal to Manchester United was not only beneficial, it was necessary for United's success this season.
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The most obvious asset that RVP brings to Manchester United is his incredible goal-scoring prowess.
Last season, RVP won the Golden Boot award with 30 goals in the EPL.
RVP is off to another great start this season. He has already scored five goals in seven EPL games and two goals in Champions League play.
This included a fantastic hat trick against Southampton that secured three points for United.
To put his goal scoring in perspective, RVP has scored a little over a third of United’s goals this season.
With the absence of Wayne Rooney, this production was absolutely necessary to start the season.
Building Around Rooney
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During his time at Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo formed a fearsome duo with Wayne Rooney. In the 2007-2008 EPL season, Ronaldo and Rooney combined for 43 goals.
Wayne Rooney has had to pick up the slack since Ronaldo’s transfer to Real Madrid. He has had to take more shots and play a much more active role as a striker.
Rooney operates best when he can float between the midfield and the front of the attack. Rooney is elusive, and when a defense loses track of him, he can make them pay in a variety of ways.
With the addition of RVP, Rooney has been able to play many different positions that better suit his skill set.
Yes, Rooney is a phenomenal goal scorer. He can, however, provide much more for Manchester United than just goals. He has excellent vision and is capable of making incredible passes.
This was evident in United’s recent victory over Newcastle. In this game, Rooney was played in the midfield. He was able to pick apart Newcastle’s defense and was seemingly all over the pitch.
While he did not find the goal against Newcastle, Rooney did register two assists.
The purchase of RVP shows Ferguson’s attempt to build a team around Rooney’s unique skill set, and the two have already shown that they can be a dangerous combination.
This was a necessary evolution of Manchester United. Rooney simply could not carry the load for much longer, and that was certainly made evident by last season's heartbreaking finish.
To Recapture the League
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Manchester United fans were left heartbroken at the end of last season.
United lost the Manchester derby and were robbed of the league title by crosstown rivals Manchester City due to a stoppage time win over QPR.
Manchester United is desperate to reclaim the league title from their noisy neighbors.
Integrating RVP into a team that was minutes away from winning the league last season only makes them that much stronger.
RVP knows the expectations assigned to the club each and every season. They were clearly outlined for him by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Before RVP arrived in Manchester, SAF said, “There's been many a player that's come to Manchester United and not met expectations...I've got no worries about Robin, though. He's a very good professional and that will only work in his favour at this club. I know his main aim won't be a selfish one—it will be all about winning trophies. And if he can score goals like he did last year then we'll all be smiling come the end of the season.”
RVP’s main goal is to allow Manchester United to be competitive. That is the reason he chose to come to United, and that is why he was signed.
He was a needed addition to a United squad that must fight to remain competitive with the ultra-talented side put together by Manchester City.
To Train the Next Generation of United Strikers
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Manchester United’s team is currently filled with young talent.
United boast a group of young strikers that is the envy of most teams in the EPL.
The group includes 24-year-old Javier Hernandez, 21-year-old Danny Welbeck and 18-year-old Ángelo Henríquez, a recent transfer.
An argument can be made that the play time that RVP will receive could inhibit the growth of these young players.
This is certainly the opinion of Sir Alex Ferguson, who said, "You can always learn from great players. Remember what [Eric] Cantona did for all the young players when he arrived? He was a tremendous teacher for them.”
The presence of RVP should be viewed as a positive for the development of these three strikers.
Who is more qualified to teach these young strikers than last year’s winner of the Golden Boot?
While playing time will be more sparsely allocated, these up-and-coming strikers can learn from the example set by a clinical finisher and deadly striker like RVP.
RVP is just the mentor these young strikers needed to really break out in the coming seasons.
To Keep United Competitive for Transfers
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Before the signing of RVP, it seemed as if Manchester United was having trouble drawing top-tier talent to Old Trafford.
Noisy neighbors Manchester City had a phenomenal summer transfer period before the 2011-2012 season. City was able to bring in such talents as Sergio Agüero and Gaël Clichy. Most importantly, they were able to outbid United for the services of Samir Nasri.
To begin this summer’s transfer window, United lost out to Chelsea for the signature of Lille winger Eden Hazard.
These developments were discomforting for United fans.
Alex Ferguson’s transfer for RVP assured United fans and soccer fans everywhere that the Red Devils were still relevant when it came to capturing top talent.
In the coming years, young talents from around the world will be bound for the EPL.
The purchase of RVP was exactly what Manchester United needed to prove that they can compete with anybody for the signatures of the best players in the world.