Manchester United could have won the title without Van Persie, says Valencia

The Ecuador winger says his team-mate's impact this season was big but insists that after finishing second last year, they were more determined than ever to win the Premier League
Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia insists that his team could have won the title even without the Premier League's top scorer Robin van Persie.

The striker has netted 25 times so far in the league to fire the Old Trafford side to their 20th league title, including a hat-trick to seal their crown against Aston Villa.

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While Valencia admits that Van Persie's contribution has been great, he insists that the determination the team had at the start of the season meant they could even have won without the Netherlands international.

"Destiny is a funny thing," Valencia told reporters.

"We had so much determination at the start of the season because we wanted to make up for last year and win the title. So whilst you can't doubt what Robin has added, we may have done it without him.

"But Robin has great ability, huge skill levels and can solve almost any problem he comes up against. As a winger it is a joy to play and work alongside him."

Valencia was voted the club's player of the season for the 2011-12 campaign, but admits he has fallen short with his form this year, scoring just one goal and creating four more in 28 league appearances.

He added: "If you make a comparison with the previous season it wasn't quite what I was hoping for. I have maybe not been able to recreate the form of last year."