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Van Persie the constant threat in summer of change

| 22.07.2013

Last season saw Robin van Persie hit the ground running at Old Trafford, with the Dutchman netting 26 goals to finish three ahead of Luis Suarez and claim the Golden Boot.

Barring injury it is tough to imagine the 4/1 shot will not be in the frame for a third consecutive award and is a hugely credible jolly due to his Premier League experience, and the fact that he has a largely settled team around him.

The Premier League Player of the Year Gareth Bale had his best goalscoring season last term, netting an impressive 21 strikes from midfield. It is tough to envisage the Welshman topping the charts from his position, especially if Spurs recruit a capable striker to alleviate his burden, as they appear keen to do. However, at 14/1, Bale perhaps represents a better bet than 8/1 chance Sergio Aguero.

While the Manchester City forward is an unerring finisher, with the recruitment of Alvaro Negredo, a more traditional number nine, and forward Stevan Jovetic, Aguero could well be pushed towards the flanks.

Luis Suarez answered questions over his finishing ability in emphatic fashion last season, bagging 23 goals in just 33 matches.

However, the Uruguayan is seemingly desperate for a move away from Anfield, and only one other English club, Arsenal, has come in for him. With Liverpool unlikely to sell for the sums being mentioned, a move abroad – in January, if not this summer – looks the most likely outcome, suggesting his price of 16/1 is perhaps not worth taking at this point.

Wayne Rooney represents a better option at the same odds. The unsettled Manchester United striker appears increasingly likely to move to Chelsea, and with Rooney likely to be the starting forward should that come to pass, the England striker could be the beneficiary of one of the most creative midfields in Europe, with Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar, Andre Schurrle and Kevin de Bruyne to feed the strikers from behind and out wide.

Nicolas Anelka’s move to West Brom surprised many, but with the departure of Romelu Lukaku back to Chelsea the urbane Frenchman could enjoy a profitable season. He is a proven finisher in this division, and won the top goalscorer award in 2009.

Steve Clarke’s side won many plaudits for their play last season, and Anelka will be playing in front of a talented midfield; at 125/1 he represents a tantalising each-way option.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Toby Calnan