He is the hottest property in the premiership. Alongside Drogba he is one of those few strikers who will score more or less a goal a game.  Everyone wants him, especially as he doesn't fit the hackneyed Dutch stereotype of being able to start an argument in a morgue. He has given Arsenal great service and when asked to captain the side, has done so with integrity and professionalism.

In 2011/12 he scored 30 goals while averaging a goal a game the season before. He would fit into any team and if he didn't, any sane manager would find a means of making him fit. His shooting accuracy has varied from 53% to 58% over the last three seasons and as Liverpool fans will testify, he can produce a goal from nothing (that is a bit rough on Alex Song mind).

While the scoring stats look very rosy, there is a downside to Robin Van Persie. He tends to break easily. The story has been similar each season since signing for Arsenal in May 2004.

The 2011/12 season was by far and away his most successful, not just because he scored more goals but because he managed to start 37 times. Compare that to the previous seasons where he made 19, 14 and 24 starts respectively.

So what have we learned? He is a world-class player who can almost score at will and is a winner but he might not be there at all. He played more football this year than in the last two years combined.

He is 29 years only and represents all that makes life interesting: he is a gamble.

United may snap him up and enjoy four years of success. Equally he may be the most expensive injury of the 2012/2013 season.