Why Robin van Persie Is Proving the Best Transfer Signing in Europe This Season

Nathan JudahCorrespondent INovember 9, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring to make it 1-1 with Robin van Persie during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on October 20, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Call him the new talisman, the postman or a messiah, Robin van Persie is white-hot at the moment and all indications are that Sir Alex Ferguson's $38 million summer signing could well be one of his very best in 39 years of management.

If someone had come into the team three years ago and relegated Wayne Rooney to a supporting attacking role, you could have been sure of hearing a huge backlash from the striker.

But not only has van Persie's arrival almost completely changed Rooney's role in the team, it's the 27-year-old himself who is leading the plaudits that continue to be draped over the Flying Dutchman.

He can do no wrong at the moment, and it was not a surprise that his second-half introduction in Braga on Tuesday night almost single-handedly turned a worryingly flat defeat into three points and plenty of excitement.

Over the last three seasons van Persie is arguably only second to Lionel Messi as the world's best player. The main difference between the two is that van Persie was on the market.

Yes. there were questions about fitness. but those seem to be fading fast with every game played—making that $38 million transfer for a man who at 29 still has his best years ahead of him an absolute steal.

Roberto Mancini continues to have struggles up front at Manchester City despite the deluge of strikers at his disposal. United have scored eight more league goals despite having Rooney unavailable for nearly half the season.

After winning the Golden Boot last season, equalling Thierry Henry's 30-goal haul of 2003-04, van Persie is well on his way to bettering that tally with eight so far.

And Rooney's comeback from injury has only increased the Dutchman's impact and goal tally; van Persie has registered in four of his last five games.

United have a fantastic run of fixtures coming up that will surely have the strike force rubbing their hands together. Aston Villa, Norwich, QPR, West Ham and Reading should have the goals flowing aplenty.

Javier Hernandez's game time has suffered as a result of the 29-year-old's addition, but his impact as a substitute is proving invaluable.

Danny Welbeck is perhaps the odd one out at the moment but will still make valuable contributions this season after his breakout campaign last year.

United are now the clear favourites to win the Premier League title and rightly so, but don't be fooled, Sir Alex's Champions League desire burns more than ever, and van Persie is the key to unlocking the riches.

The Red Devils have a renewed ability to dominate both domestically and abroad. If that dream is realised this season, you can bet a certain $38 million signing will be the catalyst and without doubt the best signing in Europe.

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