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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Robin Primed For Goodison Bow

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Robin van Persie is ready to make his Manchester United debut against Everton at Goodison Park after admitting 'the little boy inside' told him his future was at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman and reigning PFA Player of the Year has been linked with a move away from Arsenal all summer long and is set to line up for his new side in Monday's Premier League opener after completing a switch on Friday.

Everton, meanwhile, could hand a debut to Steven Naismith, while Steven Pienaar is expected to make a fourth Blues first-team bow.

"It's an honour to sign for Manchester United," said Van Persie, scorer of an exquisite volley against the Toffees last season. "I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of so many great strikers, bringing my experience and playing my part to help the team compete for the biggest trophies in the game. I can't wait to get started.

"In these situations, when you have to make a hard decision in your life, I always listen to that little boy inside of me, what does he want you know, and that boy was screaming for Man United.

"The boy wanted to come. He turned down various clubs. If he hadn't told Arsenal he wanted to go to Manchester United, the transfer wouldn't have happened."

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted on Thursday he hoped to hand Van Persie a debut at Goodison Park and seems increasingly likely to call on his latest recruit now all the formalities of his protracted move are complete.

"Robin is a world-class striker with a proven record in England and in European football," said Ferguson. "His movement, finishing and all-round ability are outstanding.

"We never thought we could get Van Persie. If you go back six months ago, I couldn't see us getting him.

"I thought Arsenal are not going to let him go. When I read he had refused a new contract, that is when we acted. It has been a long haul."

Despite the boost provided by Van Persie's arrival, Ferguson will have to make do without the defensive trio of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans, while Darren Fletcher is on the road to recovery but some way from a return to competitive first-team action.

“Darren’s fantastic, I mean obviously we are in the laps of the gods in terms of Darren because he has a certain condition that he has to handle very well,” said the United boss.

"At the moment he is doing very well at that, he has put the weight back on which was a big concern for the kid.

“Phil Jones is a month away, Chris Smalling is out for two months and Jonny Evans is training but not ready for Monday."

The clash at Goodison Park could also see United debuts for Japanese forward Shinji Kagawa and teenager Nick Powell.

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