Robin Van Persie was 10/1 within the last fortnight to be the top Premier League scorer this season and so some punters will now have big smiles on their faces.
Van Persie’s move to Manchester United has been touted for a good week or so, but it was still hard to believe that Arsene Wenger would sell his chief asset to such a rival, even if his hands were somewhat tied.
Now only a medical and some finer points of the Dutchman’s contract are left to be sorted out, meaning that the transfer should be complete ahead of the Red Devils’ opener at Everton.
Van Persie may even be in attendance at Everton, but given his lack of pre-season action, it is highly unlikely that he will be in a position to feature.
From a betting perspective, the big developments from the Van Persie deal is that he has shortened to 6/1 favourite to be the Premier League’s top scorer for the second successive season.
This may be easier said than done, as Van Persie is virtually guaranteed to play fewer games this season at Manchester United.
Van Persie featured in all 38 Premier League games for Arsenal last term – 37 of which were from the first whistle – yet he is now in contention with United talisman, Wayne Rooney, 2010/11 goal-scoring sensation Chicarito and Danny Welbeck – who has just signed a new contract – for a starting berth.
You then throw in forgotten men Dimitar Berbatov and Bebe and Sir Alex Ferguson is in for a massive selection headache as he bids to win back the Premier League crown from their blue neighbours.
Last season was also the first in his career were van Persie was able to steer clear of injury, making 10 appearances more than in any other season.
It is unlikely that he will pull off this feat for the second season running given his track record and, coupled with the fact that van Persie is now surrounded by strikers vying for his position, it’s difficult to envisage him getting anywhere near as much game time.
On top of these facts, van Persie now has the psychological aspect of moving from a small pond to a much bigger one as he prepares to grace Old Trafford in the red of United.
He was, without doubt, the only world class talent in the Arsenal squad and seemed to thrive in this environment.
At the Euros, however, when taking to the field with some of the game’s top stars the Premier League’s most lethal marksman did not seem to possess the same aura as when he was banging the goals in for the Gunners.
Bearing all this in mind, there are a cluster of players at 16/1 who all represent better value for money than RVP in the race to be the Premier League’s top scorer.
Carlos Tevez looked back to his best as he put Chelsea to the sword in Community Shield, whereas Papiss Cisse showed his goal scoring capabilities in the second half of last season and there is no one as lively as Luis Suarez in the final third.
Similarly, Rooney at 10/1 could be a great shout given that he’s converted 65 league goals in the last three seasons – a haul of 27 last year his best to date – and is the one man who’s guaranteed not to lose out on appearance bonuses in the wake of van Persie’s arrival.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.