Patrice Evra believes that Robin van Persie can be as much of a goal-scoring asset for Manchester United as Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Van Persie scored his 10th goal of the season at the weekend and United captain Evra believes the Dutch striker can have the same impact as his compatriot.
Van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in just five years with United and Evra feels Van Persie is more than up to the task of matching that success.
"People can now see that Robin is strong mentally. He seems like he has played for us for many years and he reminds me of Van Nistelrooy," Evra said. "I hope he can keep going because he can be one of the best. I played with Ruud when I signed for United and remember what a great player he was. First of all, they are both Dutch, but it's the class and the touch they both have when you pass the ball to them.
"Robin is just a top-class player and you can see why United wanted him and why the gaffer worked so hard to get him. He has started so well and I just hope he can keep going because, at United, you have to do that in every game and we have to do everything we can to make sure he feels good."
The Arsenal fans who travelled to Old Trafford for Saturday's 2-1 defeat at the hands of United made their feelings towards their former club captain and star striker known. Van Persie responded by scoring in only the third minute of the game, and Evra feels he showed great poise to put in a fine display throughout the match.
"Everyone knows what a great player he was at Arsenal, but it is never easy to play against your old team-mates," he said. "We were not concerned with his attitude as he is a great professional and a great player. After two minutes, though, he scored a goal and it was a great start for him and for us."
Rio Ferdinand joined the United players hailing the Dutch striker and said Van Persie would get even better with time.
"He is growing every week. He is taking chance after chance," said Ferdinand. "When he takes a chance he is always putting it in the back of the net. We all know the quality Robin van Persie has. If he gets a chance he will take it.
"It was good to see Robin get on the scoresheet against his old team but he's been doing well for us. He's a natural-born goal scorer and long may it continue that he keeps scoring. He showed a bit more class than their fans showed to him. It's banter from their fans but he celebrated in the right way."