One of the many long, projected transfers of the summer looks set to be completed. Earlier this evening, it was announced that Manchester United have agreed a deal with Arsenal for striker Robin van Persie with a medical due to take place over the next couple of days. A strange summer for United fans, takes yet another twist. Left-back and central midfield are the areas that many have been crying out for renewal for while now and the last place many would have expected the club to strengthen would be up-front.
Wayne Rooney managed 27 goals in the Premier League last season, his best return for the club and indeed the most prolific season of his career, his regular strike-partner Danny Welbeck scored nine league goals in his breakthrough season for the club. Javier Hernandez managed 10 goals, while Dimitar Berbatov found the net seven times in his five starts and seven sub appearances. The squad as whole scored 89 goals in the league but they didn’t manage to outmuscle rivals, Manchester City who scored 93 goals last season to win the title on goal difference on the final day of the season.
With the signing of van Persie (29), Ferguson has broke his own rule of signing players over-27 for a fee, but the Dutch man is the Red Devils biggest signing since Berbatov back in 2008. For many, the move is a strange one, particularly from Manchester United’s point of view. In footballing terms, it makes sense. van Persie and Rooney will form the most potent strike-force in the league; between them they scored 57 league goals last season and 72 over all competitions. However, one of the main criticisms has been that van Persie is “injury prone” – he has still managed to make on average 24 appearances per season over the last eight seasons – his lowest being 15 in 2007-08 and highest last season of 38.
In his time at Arsenal, van Persie has just one piece of silverware to show, a FA Cup win from 2005. Seven years have elapsed since then and the 29-year-old has seen many team-mates leave in that time. In July he released a statement saying that he would not being signing a new contract at the Emirates as he: “in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.” The Dutchman is nearing the autumn of his career, for a striker, and is looking to fulfil his aim of winning trophies (yes, he will probably earn more wages, too)
United, having lost out on the title last season will be keen to respond this season as Ferguson usually does. If van Persie stays fit and there looks to be no immediate concerns about his fitness, despite many trying to suggest otherwise then he will add another element to United’s attack. There will be debate as to where Rooney will play of where Kagawa slots in also, but one thing is for sure, Van Persie, Rooney, Kagawa, Valencia, Nani and Young is a fearsome six for any team. An exciting season lies ahead at Old Trafford. Could there be more transfers to come?