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Fergie weighs up van Persie debut
By Ian Whittell
10:43 AEST Sun Aug 19 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson will wait until the last minute before deciding whether new striker Robin van Persie is fit enough to make his debut in Manchester United's Premier League opener at Everton on Monday.

Van Persie, signed for 24 million from Arsenal, rushed back from international duty with Holland in midweek to undergo a medical in Manchester that went into the early hours of Friday before completing the most eye-catching Premier League transfer of the year.

After such a hectic schedule, and just a handful of training sessions with his new team-mates, United manager Ferguson is uncertain if he should throw van Persie straight into his starting line-up at Goodison Park.

"He hasn't played much. We are going to assess him the next couple of days and chat with him, see how he feels himself," Ferguson said.

"Adrenalin will help, if I choose to start him, but I think it's important he had a training session on Friday morning and hopefully the weekend will give me a good idea on whether he should start or I should put him on the bench."

Van Persie's arrival gives Ferguson, who could already call on Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, an impressive collection of attacking talent and the Scot believes Welbeck is just one player who will benefit from playing alongside such world-class performer.

"It's been a long haul but the point I'm making about maturity is we needed a finished player," Ferguson said.

"(Paul) Scholes and (Ryan) Giggs are coming to the end and I need mature top players to replace them.

"The young ones don't have what Scholes and Giggs do at the moment and that's very important.

"We have had several players who have been that sort of catalyst, starting with (Eric) Cantona, I don't think we're short of all that, I think we were still capable of winning the title without Robin but he gives us a sort of certainty for the future.

"You always learn from great players, if you look at what Cantona did, he was a tremendous teacher for the all the young players and I think Danny will welcome that."