Manchester United: Robin van Persie Has Swung Title Balance Back to United

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIDecember 10, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates scoring the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on December 9, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson looks like a genius for signing Robin van Persie.

Not that he had a whole lot of options—it wasn't like he was going to say no—but still, to bring a player of van Persie's caliber to Old Trafford to join an already-strong side that had come within a heartbeat of claiming the 2011/12 English Premier League title was a huge move by the Red Devils boss.

A move that has swung the balance of power in Manchester back to the red half—away from the blue half that had their moment in the sun last season.

The arrival of van Persie has meant everything for United.

It's not just his game-winning free kick against Manchester City on the weekend, though that certainly does help, it's all that the Dutch international brings with him to the club—his attacking skill, his creativity and the space he allows for Wayne Rooney to operate.

All of those things combined have allowed the Red Devils to gain the upper hand in the Premier League season and now six points clear atop the table, establishing themselves as the clear favorites to take the league title this year.

The statistics on van Persie's involvement are phenomenal.

In 14 Premier League appearances, the 29-year-old has netted 11 goals and four assists—numbers that lead United for the season.

He has scored the game-winning goal on five occasions this season—including three straight in his past three matches—and has become the go-to striker for direction and a goal-scoring opportunity when the Red Devils need it most.

But perhaps most significant is that without van Persie, United would be in a horrible position—statistically speaking, anyway.

Taking away his 11 goals and four assists, the Red Devils wouldn't have won matches like they did against Manchester City, Liverpool or Arsenal. They wouldn't have even managed to get on the board against the likes of West Ham or Southampton.

Without the Dutch international, Manchester United would have 21 less points this season and would be currently hovering just above Fulham in 13th spot.

A hypothetical situation, yes, but the point still remains the same.

Van Persie was a much-needed force for the Red Devils and his arrival has allowed Ferguson's men to gain Manchester and English dominance once more.

His game-winner against City was just another performance where he was "absolutely terrific" according to Ferguson (per BBC Sport)—further reinforcing the truth that we already knew to be true for the Dutchman and the Manchester club.

Van Persie is a clinical striker with an incredible ability to find the back of the net—sparking those around him to play at their best all the time.

But perhaps more important than that, he is a game-winning footballer.

For United, it's made them Premier League favorites once more.

Is Robin Van Persie the best player in the EPL this season?

Comment below or hit me up on Twitter:  


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