David Rogers/Getty Images
5. Robin van Persie
Sir Alex may well look back at his signing of the devastating Dutchman as one of his best, if not exactly one of the most unexpected successes. He has so far achieved everything that was expected of him several times over.
I don’t think even Sir Alex, in his most optimistic moment, could have imagined the decisive impact Van Persie would have on his team, scoring 19 goals in 25 appearances.
His contribution outside his goalscoring feats have also been immense, and you feel that United’s prospects of silverware domestically and in Europe will be deeply entwined with the strikers ability to remain injury free for the rest of the season.
Interestingly, The Times' Matthew Syed reported that Roberto Mancini blamed the current gap in the title race on City’s failure to sign Van Persie in the summer break.
Unless Mancini is playing obscure mind games with this comment, you would think that such defeatism is akin to the Italian psychologically shooting himself in the foot.
Such apparent envy at United’s purchase is ironic when you consider the almost vulgar amounts of cash that City have had at their disposal and the cost of the rest of Mancini’s current squad.
Without doubt, Van Persie is potentially the key to United’s success this season, but from personal experience, it’s always prudent to have a spare key.
In this respect, Sir Alex must be hoping that Javier Hernandez continues his current rich vein of goal scoring and that Wayne Rooney recovers quickly from his present injury and rediscovers the form that he showed sporadically in the first half of the season.