Manchester United striker Robin van Persie admits the club’s chase for a 20th league title in his debut season at Old Trafford is the reason behind his decision to take up the No.20 shirt.
Van Persie took part in his first training session with new team-mates on Friday morning after completing his £24million move from Arsenal on a four-year deal.
Admitting it was an “honour” to join the Red Devils, van Persie has followed in the footsteps of United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by taking up the No 20 shirt.
And he is hoping it will be a good omen as United chase a 13th Premier League crown and 20th overall in the coming season.
“I had the option of 20 or 21 and the reason I took this shirt is because we’re all here to be champions this year and that would mean a 20th league title for Manchester United,” said van Persie. “That’s the main reason I took 20.”
The 29-year-old, who could make his United debut in their Premier League opener at Everton on Monday night, also revealed he spoke to compatriot Edwin van der Sar before sealing his move to the Theatre of Dreams.
Van Persie has also set his sights on emulating the goalscoring feats of another Dutchman to become an Old Trafford legend – fellow striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.
“I spoke to Edwin van der Sar last week and he was very positive about everything. It was a good chat and he was very open, as he always is. He gave me a really good feeling. He told me a lot of very human things, just daily stuff.
“Edwin won the Champions League here, he won the league here. He won almost everything here. He’s a legend. And then you have Ruud van Nistelrooy who played five years here and scored something like 150 goals here. He had a massive impact here. Hopefully, in my own way, I can also have a big impact.”
Van Persie, the seventh Dutchman to adorn the famous red shirt, took time out to pay tribute to former club Arsenal with whom he spent eight years after joining from Feyenoord in 2004.
And he says the atmosphere in the United dressing room is similar to that he experienced at the Emirates Stadium.
“I was there for eight years so that’s part of my life, it’s part of my history. I’m proud of it. Arsenal are a great club and I have a very similar feeling here. It’s very family orientated, from the players to the staff. Everybody’s kind and helpful.”