It has not taken Robin van Persie long to impress news Manchester United manager David Moyes. The Netherlands international only linked up with his team-mates in Sydney on Sunday, after missing the first ten days of United's pre-season programme.
With 30 goals in all competitions last season, Van Persie was one of the major reasons why United were able to scoop a record 20th championship by an 11-point margin. Now Moyes has the task of working with the prolific striker and he already likes what he sees.
"I got to see him this week for the first time," said Moyes. "You can see his ability in the control, touch and awareness he has shown, just in the small games we have played and bits of the finishing he has done this week.
"I have been impressed by his professionalism as well. We have overtrained him this week to try and make sure we build up his fitness but he has never complained about a thing."
The punishing nature of Van Persie's training schedule means he will not start Saturday's encounter with the A-League All-Stars at ANZ Stadium. Moyes confirmed he will be used as a second-half substitute though, before playing a more significant role when United fly off to Japan on Sunday.
"What we are trying to do is get him in a condition that would allow him to do exactly what he did last year: score goals for Manchester United and be a really big influence on the team and its performances," said Moyes. "I am hoping he will be as big an influence again this season."
'Amazing' first campaign
Despite having hardly any pre-season work behind him when he left Arsenal for Manchester United, Van Persie made an amazing start, scoring on his home debut against Fulham before claiming a match-winning hat-trick at Southampton. The 29-year-old did not stop scoring until a mini-drought late in the campaign, by which time the Premier League was virtually won anyway.
"I wouldn't say it was a surprise," said United midfielder Michael Carrick of Van Persie's fast start to life at Old Trafford. "It was nice obviously and probably a relief for him, because he had made a big move and there was a bit of pressure on his shoulders.
"He got off to a flying start and won us important games. For us to see the goals flying in was great and it carried on through the year. It was amazing for a first season."
Moyes also confirmed England international Phil Jones will start against the A-League All-Stars.