Ferguson hails van Persie
Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced Robin van Persie will prove to be the last piece in his Manchester United jigsaw.
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Ferguson opened himself up to ridicule on Sunday when he claimed Ashley Williams could have killed Van Persie after the Swansea defender blasted a ball into the Dutchman's head during the 1-1 draw.
But the reaction may have come from the importance Ferguson now places upon Van Persie.
It may only be just over four months since the striker arrived from Arsenal in a £24million transfer.
But in Ferguson's mind, that fee - large for a player entering the final year of his contract - has already been justified thanks to a combination of Van Persie's 15 goals and a growing number of assists that have helped United celebrate Christmas Day on top of the Premier League.
"I reckon we got our Christmas present early - right at the start of the season when Robin van Persie arrived at Old Trafford," Ferguson told United Review.
"I am reluctant to subscribe to the cult of the individual but sometimes there really is a situation when you are lucky enough to find the last piece of the jigsaw.
"As we approach the 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 is quite remarkable how quickly he has settled at Old Trafford.
"He is the consummate professional. He has a good lifestyle with a great sense of responsibility.
"There is no doubt that he has moved us forward as a team."