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Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images Swansea City's Dwight Tiendalli (right) and Manchester United's Robin van Persie (left) battle for the ball.
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Ferguson likens Van Persie to Eric Cantona
The veteran manager says the Dutchman could be “the last piece of the jigsaw” for his team.

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Sir Alex Ferguson has compared Robin van Persie to club great Eric Cantona.

The Netherlands international has bagged 15 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions since joining United from Arsenal at the end of the mid-year transfer window.

Ferguson has admitted that he does not like to be caught up in ‘the cult of an individual’ but believes United striker Van Persie can inspire success at Old Trafford just like the legendary Frenchman did.

“I reckon here at Manchester United we got our Christmas present early – right at the start of the season in fact, when Robin van Persie arrived at Old Trafford,” Ferguson wrote in his column for United Review.

“I am reluctant to subscribe to the cult of an individual because I firmly believe that the essence of a successful football team depends on team-work, and neither are we a one-man team, but sometimes there really is a situation where you are lucky enough to find the last piece of the jigsaw.

“We did it when we brought Eric Cantona to Old Trafford where he proved to be the right player at the right club at the right time.

“He became the catalyst and springboard for our surge to success. It doesn’t have to be signing someone for a record fee; Eric was in fact a snip at a million.

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“Cristiano Ronaldo was not a record buy either but he certainly made a difference as he prospered with us to the extent that he came to be regarded by a lot of people as the world’s best player.”

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