Van Persie is open to the possibility of finishing his footballing days in Manchester.
He is working his way through his first season with Manchester United after joining the club last summer for £24 million on a four-year contract. He has so far lived up to the reputation that he built at Arsenal, despite enduring a barren run of late. A run that is the longest he’s gone without a goals since his Feyenoord days when he was a winger! Why not back van Persie to break his duck against Sunderland as bwin offer a free £20 bet to EPLIndex readers.
He currently sits second in the goal charts behind Luis Suarez, but he will take more satisfaction out that his 19 goals have given United a comfortable lead in the Premier League, a lead that has more or less already decided the title, even if it is not yet mathematically guaranteed.
If Manchester United do indeed manage to recapture the title from their rivals, then it will be Van Persie’s first Premier League triumph, having joined Arsenal from Feyenoord the season after the famous ‘invincibles’ of 2003/04. To win silverware, most notably the league title, was his motivation for making the move to Manchester, and it seems that he does not regret the move and in fact has developed the desire to retire at Manchester United. Speaking to the BBC he said:
[quote]For the next few years I will be at Man United – maybe longer, United could be my last club.[/quote]
He will feel comfortable in his ability to achieve this since United have an exemplary record of holding onto their older players and using their experience to their advantage on and off the pitch. Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, 38 and 39 years old respectively, are the two current examples, and both, especially Giggs, still play a large role at the club.
[quote]You have a number of clubs in Europe where older players can find it good, where they are valued. You used to have that at Juventus and AC Milan, Manchester United today is a good example. So who knows how long I will stay at the club. There is a new challenge for me every day at United. My development is an ongoing process. That gets an extra boost when you are surrounded by new coaches and team-mates, all with their own ideas, in a totally new environment.[/quote]
As a point of interest we can compare his goalscoring stats at Manchester United with the same type of stats with Arsenal from the last four seasons, as you can see above. The comparison with Arsenal in the 2011/12 season is by far the most important comparison to make, not only because it is the season that directly preceded the this current one, but also because it is the only season in his career in which he managed to complete 38 games, something very few outfield players accomplish in their career, and something that he is on course to achieve for the second season in a row. Naturally, such continuity will give a player a greater chance at fulfilling his true potential.
Because there isn’t a season where he has played the same amount of games, it is best to compare goals per minute. As can be seen from the above 11/12 and 12/13 seasons Van Persie’s goals per minute of 122 this season is a little behind last year, 111. While this is not quite what he achieved in the last campaign, it’s important to note a couple of things. Firstly that his 1 goal in 6 Premier League games (1 goal in 10 games in all competitions) has brought his minutes per goal stat down a little this year. Secondly that, whilst he has certainly been one of United’s biggest players this season, they do not rely on him as much as Arsenal did and do not build the team around him to the same extent. Of course you could argue that being in a stronger team should help Van Persie but this very much depends on your own perspective.
Whatever your perspective may be on this though, his clear-cut chance conversion and shooting accuracy are noticeably lower too. He did however have an exceptional season for Arsenal in 11/12 which was always going to be hard to match. Besides, nobody would claim that he hasn’t been a success at United. Indeed, it’s a shame that he has struggled with injuries for much of his career, as he had always showed the signs of being the world-class striker that he has become. A quick look at his stats from 09/10 and 10/11 goes a long way to prove this. His goals per minute in 10/11 is particularly impressive.
If Van Persie can continue to score like has been for the last few years, Manchester United fans will be delighted to have him as long as he cares to stay.
£20 Wins you:
van Persie to score 1st: £80
van Persie to score last: £80
van Persie to score: £38
van Persie to score Hat Trick: £420
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