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While the Dutchman is expected to return to top form this season, Al Hain-Cole thinks that a questionable injury record makes the new captain a stronger bet

One man expected to benefit more than most from Louis van Gaal’s arrival as Manchester United manager is Robin van Persie, who enjoys a strong relationship with his former international coach.

Man United Top Premier League Goalscorer

Odds from Paddy Power
Robin Van Persie 5/6
Wayne Rooney 15/8
Javier Hernandez/Danny Welbeck 16/1
Juan Mata 20/1
Adnan Januzaj 33/1
Nani/Ashley Young/Marouane Fellaini/Ander Herrera/ Shinji Kagawa 40/1
Having appointed the 31-year-old as captain while Dutch coach, Van Gaal was rewarded with a flurry of goals that helped take Netherlands to third place in the World Cup and saw Van Persie establish himself as his country’s all-time top goalscorer.

Now expected to flourish under his compatriot’s guidance at Old Trafford after an unhappy spell under David Moyes, the former Arsenal man is 5/6 (1.83) favourite with Paddy Power to rediscover the form that saw him hit 30 goals in his debut season and top the club’s scoring charts once again.

However, those odds seem rather slender on a man who was restricted to just 18 starts last campaign due to injuries, with better value surely to be found in backing Wayne Rooney to stake his claim as the Red Devils’ main man once more.

With five goals in four friendly matches, the England man has been in fine form during pre-season, and seems generously priced at 15/8 (2.88) to finish as his team’s top scorer for the second season in a row, particularly given his superior injury record. The news that Rooney will lead United as captain this season could also see the 28-year-old focus on producing his best form, adding weight to the 15/8 (2.88) quotes being too large to ignore.

With van Gaal focusing his transfer efforts on defensive reinforcements, it seems unlikely a big money attacking signing will force punters to reconsider their options in this market.

Facing a fight merely to secure his United future, Javier Hernandez certainly seems like poor value at 16/1 (17.00) to overshadow the two big guns, while Danny Welbeck is hardly tempting at that same 16/1 (17.00) price either, given he has never hit double figures in the Premier League.

Despite impressing in front of goal after arriving from Chelsea in January, Juan Mata 20/1 (21.00) is unlikely to prove more prolific than the entire strike force, and Adnan Januzaj 33/1 (34.00) would be delighted to merely feature as often as either van Persie or Rooney, let alone score more.

With the likes of Nani, Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Shinji Kagawa 40/1 (41.00) all next in the betting, it becomes even more apparent that the Manchester United Golden Boot award will be a two-horse race this season.
 
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Wayne Rooney to be Manchester United's Top Premier League goalscorer  for a 2pt stake at 15/8 (2.88) with Paddy Power

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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