Ferdinand backs Van Persie to make 'big impact'

Rio Ferdinand expects new signing Robin van Persie to have a "big impact" on Manchester United this season.

The Dutchman, who completed his big-money move to Old Trafford on Friday morning, is the current PFA and Football Writers' Association player of the year and reigning Premier League Golden Boot holder following a sensational 2011/12 campaign in which he netted 44 goals in 57 appearances for Arsenal and Holland.

It's that goals tally, Rio says, that makes the 29-year-old such an exciting addition to the United dressing room.

"Robin's played in a lot of big games and scored a lot of important goals," he told FourFourTwo in an exclusive interview.

"Adding that to any squad is going to have a big impact. I can't wait to play with him and hopefully end up celebrating many times when he hits the back of the net."

Van Persie is expected to travel to Goodison Park with his new team-mates on Monday night, although it is unclear if his fitness will permit him to play a major role in United’s opening 2012/13 fixture.

His pre-season involvement at Arsenal was limited after he was left off the club's Asia tour in July, although he did attend the Gunners' week-long training camp in Germany earlier this month. This week he was an unused substitute in Holland's defeat to Belgium in Brussels.

Regardless of whether Van Persie makes his Reds debut at Everton, Ferdinand believes the striker has all the necessary qualities to succeed in a Manchester United shirt.

"For starters, he brings a lot of experience," Ferdinand said. "He's also left-footed and there aren't too many of them around.

"When you come up against left-footer you have to adjust. You have to defend different angles and different sides – it makes you think a lot.

"Robin's also not one of these strikers that just runs in straight lines or always plays on the shoulder of the last defender. He's a bit more of a thinker – he drops off, he plays high and he's quite a strong guy. And if he gets a chance to shoot with his left foot... he's got one hell of a shot.

"I just hope he can hit the ground running. Hopefully Robin starts as he means to go on and that will mean scoring goals and playing well for the team."

bwin, Europe’s number one online football and sports betting company, is the proud new Official Online Gaming and Betting Partner of Manchester United. Place a £5 bet on Manchester United through bwin for your chance to win a pair of season tickets.

By Nick Coppack