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The 31-year-old believes the Dutchman will help bridge the gap between the Red Devils and their city rivals to restore their status as champions

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick believes Robin van Persie can be the difference in this season's Premier League title race.

The 31-year-old says the Dutchman's arrival at Old Trafford as given everyone a "big boost" and believes his goals can help Sir Alex Ferguson's side regain the title.

The England international says he was as excited as anyone upon hearing the news of Van Persie's transfer from Arsenal.

He told the Times of India: "Of course I was [excited] – it's great news. We want the best players at the club and he is certainly in that category. It's been well publicised that we've been chasing him and it's a big boost for us to get him."

Manchester City won the title on goal difference on a dramatic final day last season, and Carrick insists the addition of Van Persie to the squad will help United go one step further this time around.

"He is certainly going to strengthen our squad", he said.

"People keep asking if it can make the difference between finishing second and first – and all I can say is there wasn't much difference between us and City last year so hopefully we can go one step further this time."

However, Carrick reiterated that Manchester United are not about individuals, saying the entire squad will have to play their part in order to overturn their city rivals.

He continued: "At United it's never about one player – it's always about the team and in fact the squad. We have so much strength in depth here, that's why we win so much."

United's next game is against Fulham at Old Trafford on Saturday, and Carrick will be hoping his side can bounce back from their defeat at Goodison Park on Monday.

He added: "We didn't start well by losing at Everton in the opening game, which was a big disappointment. But there is a long way to go and we need to start winning and get on a run now. We've got a tough game against Fulham but we want to win it."

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