Man United seemed to be floundering as their nearest rivals spent big and snapped up the latest star names. Arsenal had acquired Podolski, Giroud and Corzola; Chelsea spent over £50 million on Hazard and Oscar; Man City have steadily pooled all of the best talent for two years now.
This left Man United particularly short in the centre of the pitch. As far as exciting floating number nines are concerned Man U were feeling woefully short. Attempts to buy the likes of Wesley Sneijder had failed prompting Paul Scholes to come back from retirement and fill the void. Giggs, Carrick and Scholes are a formidable trio but they don’t have the mobility or general fleet of foot of the Mata’s and Silva’s of this world.
Van Persie will give new lease of life to a number of players who just seemed to require one more cog in the machine. Rooney will thrive on having such an intelligent strike partner; Scholes will benefit from a lessened burden as prime creator and squeeze out another season with ease; fringe players like Tom Cleverley will be forced onto the next level of development.
Man United’s odds for winning the title are still relatively generous, but with last year’s two top goal scorers working in tandem they seem nearly unstoppable. Michael Carrick looks more and more capable at filling the void in the centre of the park, in the way a Schweinsteiger or a Pirlo might. He doesn’t have the class of those two, but his simple ball retention is nearly unparalleled in the English Premier League; the players further up the pitch will do the damage. The online casino and abundance of associated bookmakers may have to reassess Man United’s chances and shorten their odds before they lose a lot of money.
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