Player of the Year! Redknapp tips Man United’s Van Persie to take title
QPR manager Harry Redknapp tips Manchester United's Robin van Persie to retain his PFA Players' Player of the Year crown
Harry Redknapp has backed Manchester United striker Robin van Persie to retain his PFA Players’ Player of the Year crown, insisting that the striker is proving the difference in the title race.
The 28-year-old has scored an impressive 19 goals in 23 Premier League games for the Red Devils after completing a £24m switch to Old Trafford from Arsenal in August.
Second-placed Manchester City have struggled to find rhythm, with their key strikers Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez failing to match their prolific goal-scoring heights of previous campaigns.
“He’s massive. When they took Van Persie, I thought: ‘that’s the difference’,” said Redknapp.
“They got beaten on goal difference last season and when they add Van Persie to that team, you’d fancy them to win it.
“It’s like me racing you [journalist] and you beat me by a foot but then you’ve got to do it again but with an extra 12 pounds on your back, I’d probably win!
“That’s the advantage Van Persie has given Manchester United. He’s guaranteed them goals. He’s probably going to be Footballer of the Year again.”
The 65-year-old Hoops boss has earned a reputation as a shrewd operator in the transfer market over the past decade, particularly at Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur.
With many suggesting United needed to strengthen their midfield in the summer, Red Devils supporters may have been surprised to see Ferguson sign Van Persie, with Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernández already in their ranks.
But Redknapp says Ferguson’s decision to sign Van Persie was a no-brainer after the Dutch striker’s 37-goal haul for the Gunners last season.
“I think Sir Alex Ferguson knows more about football than the people who think he should sign a defensive midfielder, don’t you? That’s the answer there,” added the QPR boss.
“You don’t need to be a genius to sign Van Persie. If you look at how he played in the Premier League last year and see how Arsenal have missed him.
“So, whoever took Van Persie, he was going to make a massive difference to them!”
How does Redknapp plan to stop Van Persie? The QPR manager admits has watched plenty of videos of the former Gunners captain but there is little his side can do against him.
He added: “We watch videos on him but we all know what he’s about. He’s got fantastic ability, a great professional and a top all-round footballer.”