‘Like Cole and Yorke’: Van Persie and Rooney will start for Manchester United in Everton tie, claims Sir Alex

By Dean Wilkins

Robin van Persie will make his debut in a Manchester United shirt against Everton on Monday, according to Sir Alex Ferguson.

The 29-year-old striker sealed his move to the Reds last night – in a four-year deal worth up to £24million with add-ons – and could feature away at Goodison Park if he passes a medical test today.

The Arsenal captain – who netted 37 times last season – finally left the Gunners after eight years with the club to pursue his hunt for silverware towards the end of his career.

“He is on his way up from London for a medical later this afternoon,” said Ferguson.

“We hope that goes according to plan. His agent is in discussions with (United chief executive) David Gill right about now.

“We hope all the things will be tied up, although sometimes medicals do take a bit longer. I am sure he will be available for Monday’s game.”

All eyes will be on United’s new attacking partnership of Van Persie and Wayne Rooney – as the Premier League’s top scorers will be looking to match rivals Manchester City in strike power.

And Fergie is confident that his new pairing will live up to the expectations of fans and could emulate the success Dwight Yorke and Andrew Cole brought to the club in 1999.

“They (Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie) are two fantastic players and it will be great to have both of them,” said Ferguson.

“It gives us more strength and more combinations up front.

“In 1999 I had Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the four best strikers in Europe.

“We are going towards that now with Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney, Robin, Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa.

“It is a fantastic collection of players and hopefully I pick the right combinations

“It is great to have a player of Robin van Persie’s qualities to come into the squad. I am very pleased.”

As United hunt to reclaim their crown from their noisy neighbours, after losing the Premier League title in a dramatic season finale, Ferguson also welcomes back captain Nemanja Vidic and midfielder Darren Fletcher – both of whom have been long-term absentees.

And Rio Ferdinand is excited at the prospect of teaming up with his teammates.

“Last season was disappointing for us because we didn’t win the league,” Ferdinand said.

“Now it is about how we come back. We have shown in the past the mentality of the club and its history is that we always come back stronger.

“We want to give the fans what they expect and be battling at the top of the league.

“The gauntlet has been thrown down time and time again. It is up to us to pull in the right direction.

“We have to step up to the plate and produce. I am sure we will.”

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