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The Red Devils striker has hailed the Dutchman following his blistering start to life at the club after a big-money move from Premier League rivals Arsenal over the summer

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has described team-mate Robin van Persie as the club's "talisman" following his impressive start to life at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman has netted 11 goals in 14 appearances for the Red Devils since a controversial £24 million move from Arsenal over the summer.

But Rooney believes the Netherlands international is contributing more than just goals to Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

"I think he's great for the whole team; he's our talisman," Rooney told The Independent.

"He has a calmness about him, he holds the ball up well and brings players into play. We have to try and get players around him.

"Last season at Arsenal was his best season in the Premier League goalscoring-wise. He changed his game to playing on the shoulder more and getting in better goalscoring positions.

"He's obviously a great finisher. I think he's strong and can hold the ball up. He's a fantastic player and he's a great lad to have around the squad."

Despite United sitting top of the Premier League and having already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages, Rooney expressed dissatisfaction over his side's defensive record this season.

"We're not happy when we concede goals," he said. "We need to be more solid as a team and make sure we get the first goal and we can kick on from there.

Or if we have the lead, try and hold on to it. We will keep working hard and, hopefully, it will come good."

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