Ferguson joy at RvP deal with striker set for debut on Monday
Ferguson delighted with capture of van Persie from Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Manchester United completed the signing of former Arsenal skipper Robin van Persie on Friday afternoon, with Sir Alex Ferguson clearly delighted to have secured the signature of a player he has great admiration for.
The Dutchman’s deal went through in time to ensure he will available for the Red Devils in their Barclays Premier League opener at Everton on Monday night.
On completing his move to Old Trafford, van Persie said he had listened to “the little boy inside him” when deciding on his future, having made clear earlier this summer that he would not be staying at Arsenal. The 29-year-old says there are no hard feelings as far as his former club are concerned.
“In these situations, when you have to make a hard decision in your life, I always listen to that little boy inside me. What does he want? That boy was screaming for Manchester United,” van Persie said on Friday. “Everyone knows me by now. I love football. I am quite principled in that perspective.”
United are 17/20 to get their season off to a winning start at Goodison Park on Monday evening, with Everton priced at 3/1 and the draw available at 13/5. United’s new frontman has been installed at 9/2 to open the scoring for what is expected to be his debut appearance.
“It is always difficult to find the perfect match but I do feel this is the perfect match for me,” added van Persie. “Manchester United breathes football. If you look at all the players from Manchester United, the stadium and manager, my choice was made very soon.”
Having enjoyed a blistering campaign with Arsenal last season, van Persie is now the 6/1 favourite to be the top goalscorer in this season’s Barclays Premier League, and his new manager could barely contain his delight at bringing the player to Old Trafford.
“Robin is a world-class striker with a proven record in England and in European football. His talents need no introduction to our fans,” Ferguson told the club’s official website.
“He has scored a number of goals against us in some classic battles with his former club. His movement, finishing and all-round ability are outstanding,” he continued.
The United boss was keen to stress the player’s desire to make the move happen was a key factor.
“The boy wanted to come. He turned down various clubs. If he hadn’t told Arsenal he wanted to go to Manchester United, the transfer wouldn’t have happened.”
Since van Persie made known his desire to leave the Emirates in July, there has been no shortage of suitors with Italian giants Juventus and United’s nearest rivals, Manchester City, hovering with intent.
United were finally able to complete the deal after a personal call from Ferguson to long-time rival Arsene Wenger. The Scot believes that both parties were able to gain a resolution to suit in the end, while paying tribute to the Frenchman’s negotiating skills.
“He (Wenger) could run a poker school in Govan! He got a great price but we are also happy the matter is concluded,” the United manager added.
With van Persie now on board, United are 2/1 to reclaim the Premier League crown from neighbours City (5/4) while Arsenal have drifted out to 14/1 following the loss of their talisman.