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Van Persie gets stamp of approval from United legend

by Tom Parker

Manchester United legend Jaap Stam has backed fellow countryman Robin van Persie and feels the 23 goal striker has been a world-class addition to the ranks.

Van Persie has struggled in front of goals in recent weeks, going on an 11 game goalless streak.

It is something many have attributed to burnout after an intensive campaign which has seen him feature in every Premier League game, missing just 139 minutes.

And Stam, who now serves as assistant manager at Ajax, hailed the mercurial forwards contribution.

“Since day one, when he joined, he has done very well,” Stam told ManUtd.com.

“Although I’ve heard people talking about him not scoring for a while, he’s scored a lot before that and, when he gets chances again, he will score goals for United in the future.

“He’s done exceptionally well and is a world-class player who has proved himself in England really well since he left Holland. So everyone has got a lot of respect for him for what he’s done in his career.

“Robin has been very important for the club. It’s hard for strikers to score in every game and to finish off every chance that they get. It’s not like that in football. The opponents always know the quality of the strikers so, if van Persie is scoring, a lot of other teams will be marking him with two defenders and making it hard for him to score.

“But it doesn’t matter as he’s then taking a lot of attention away from the defenders and, if someone else scores, as they have been doing, then it’s okay.”

But despite his recent struggles in front of goal, there is little doubt over the impact van Persie has had.

He has at times carried United especially in the early stages of the season, scoring pivotal goals against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Van Persie’s recent barren run has seen him fall behind in the golden boot race with Luis Suarez edging ahead of the Dutchman.

However, while this may seem disappointing on a personal level, one assumes the 29-year-old would be more than happy with his debut campaign at the club, as the possibility of the former Arsenal man collecting his first Premier League winners medal looking increasingly likely.

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