halfway point of the season, I have no hesitation saying that he has made a vital difference to our chances of making our mark in this season’s title race.
It's not just van Persie's goals which have pleased and impressed his manager, it's his assists and influence on the team as a whole.
"It’s the way he has improved those around him," continued Sir Alex. "Going into the holiday programme he had scored 15 times and with Wayne Rooney back among the goals we have a deadly duo as they showed especially in the mammoth match with Manchester City, and then to indicate it was no fluke they were both on the mark again against Sunderland.
"I have really lost count of our Dutchman’s assists. It is quite remarkable how quickly he has settled at Old Trafford. It helped I think that he relished the move to Manchester and he is the consummate professional. He has a good lifestyle with a great sense of responsibility. For instance I have noticed the way he will speak to the young players and encourage them.
"That attitude is a real bonus for us. There is no doubt that he has moved us forward as a team and that the attacking and scoring is the strength of our team."