Club signings in the summer transfer window are constantly a source of excitement for those following the Premier League. It’s even more so if it’s a major player signing for a major club. This year, Manchester United is currently experiencing some trouble attracting the majors, with the competition being so fierce. However, United fans should not fear the season ahead as we can still expect a lot from the club’s transferee last year.
It just about sent waves across the English football landscape in the 2012 summer season when talk spread about Robin van Persie considering a switch to the Red Devils. Van Persie was a star footballer in Arsenal, a proud and steadfast rival of Manchester United. The two clubs’ transfer agreement was finalized upon Robin van Persie signed his contract on 17 August 2012. It was expected that he would be a key player for United, but who would have guessed that he would practically take no time at all to make his impact felt?
Right before he made the switch, Robin van Persie had just finished a successful season for himself at Arsenal. Though the Gunners had failed to win the league in 2011-2012, Robin van Persie was given the Player and Footballer of the Year awards by the PFA and the FWA, respectively. Merely a year after that, he would be rewarded again with a title winners’ medal for a different club. It was almost too perfect that United’s 20th English league title was primarily due to its new No. 20.
Moreover, Robin van Persie accomplished quite a feat when he was awarded with the Premier League Golden Boot at the end of the 2012-2013 Season. The win is his second, so far, after already being recognized by the league in the previous season as the top goalscorer when he was still at Arsenal. At United, he was also much-acclaimed, as he became as the Sir Matt Busby Way Player of the Year, the club’s highest honor. On top of that, he also claimed the club’s Goal of the Season award for his volley at the title-winning match against Aston Villa.
Before his steady rise in the football world though, Robin van Persie came from humble beginnings in Rotterdam, Netherlands. After his professional debut in the early 2000s, he immediately showed great promise playing for his local club Feyenoord. As expected, he attracted attention from some of the major clubs, including some of those in the Premier League. Ultimately, it was Arsenal in 2004 that would be signing him up for £2.75 million, a definite bargain considering the contributions that he later presented.
Though he encountered some troubles with injury on a few occasions, he soon became the reliable front man at Arsenal. He was a natural leader on the pitch and created spectacular plays for the club. It was, therefore, inevitable that he would be named captain of the Gunners and be seen as one of the best players in the league. It’s widely held that he had practically carried Arsenal to the third spot in the 2011-2012 league standings.
He would soon be enjoying the same kind of admirable reputation shortly after his United debut at the start of the 2012-2013 season. United supporters instantly knew that Sir Alex Ferguson did well in signing the Dutchman as he scored beautifully on his first United match against Fulham. Throughout the season, he was a prolific goalscorer who even had a number of hat-tricks under his belt. When he wasn’t scoring, he still contributed greatly by creating scoring opportunities for his teammates.
With him an instrumental part in securing the Premier League championship, Robin van Persie’s first season at United proved vastly successful. He has since said that the triumph and the club’s winning mentality have all the more fueled his ambition to bring home more cups and titles. Seeing as how he has been performing, we have no reason to doubt his ability to deliver. To honor this future United legend, we dedicate the song You Raise Me Up, as performed by the World Red Army, featuring Jaclyn Victor and Cleopatra.