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'Van has given us all a lift' - Giggs

MANCHESTER United veteran Ryan Giggs has hailed the impact of Robin van Persie since joining the club.

Van Persie is set to face his former employers Arsenal for the first time tomorrow since moving to Old Trafford in a reported £24million transfer in the summer.

The Dutchman has continued the form that saw him strike 37 times for the Gunners last season by scoring nine goals in 12 appearances for United.

Giggs said: "When a ready-made, world-class player comes into the team it gives everybody a lift.

"We're like the supporters -- we look forward to playing with and seeing quality players come into the team.

"Robin is certainly that. He's proven that with his goals and all-round play since he's come to the club."

Giggs, who is now in his 22nd season with United, also points out that Van Persie has brought more to United than goals.


The 38-year-old added: "Robin's set-piece delivery has been really important to us.

"It's a big plus this season that we're scoring from set-pieces and corners.

"That's something we haven't done over the last few years as often as we'd have liked.

"So with Robin it's not just goals you get. He's helped add more goals to the scoresheet and helped a few different names get on there."

Giggs remains a key player at United although his role is now more limited. His start in Wednesday's League Cup defeat at Chelsea, in which he scored twice, was his first in over a month.

He has enjoyed some fine encounters with Arsenal over the years, not least when United thrashed the Gunners 8-2 on their last visit to Old Trafford in August last year.

The Welshman is certainly not expecting a repeat of that scoreline in this season's corresponding fixture on Saturday.

He said: "No, I think that was one of those fluke performances. We always expect a tough performance against Arsenal, both home and away. It's no different this time.

"They got off to a really good start. They've stuttered a little in recent weeks but they have plenty of quality."

Giggs, meanwhile, believes the club's youngsters could benefit greatly from the loss at Chelsea.

He said: "It's tough to take. When you score four goals away from home more often than not you win the game.

"I'm proud of the young players who played, though. There were some great performances.

"They will have learnt a lot and you learn more from losing as well.

"You try and take the positives from a game like that but there are a lot of disappointed lads and rightly so because they put in good performances.

"But they'll learn from it and the experience they'll gain from this is more than they could ever get from a reserve game. They had to stick all their big guns on in the end to make an impact which they did.

"As I said, though, I'm proud of the young players -- they never stopped battling.

"We're just disappointed to put on a good performance, score four goals and come away with nothing."

The match was another high-scoring tie in the competition after Arsenal beat Reading 7-5 the previous night.

Giggs said: "After seeing the Reading-Arsenal game nothing should surprise you in football!

"You've got to be prepared for anything and fight right to the end. Unfortunately it wasn't to be for us."