Stam: Van Persie has proved his worth
Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has thrown his support behind Robin van Persie as he continues to endure a goal drought.
The 29-year-old striker has been in poor form in recent weeks and, after his strike against Sunderland was deemed to have been a Titus Bramble own-goal, his goalless run now stretches to 10 Premier League games.
Nevertheless, with a 12-point lead established over rivals Manchester City at the top of the table with just seven games left, Stam feels Van Persie has already proven his quality and that there is more to come from him this season.
"Since day one, when he joined, he has done very well," Stam told United's official website.
"Although I've heard people talking about him not scoring for a while, I think he's scored a lot before that and, when he gets chances again, he will score goals for United in the future.
"He's done exceptionally well and is a world-class player who has proved himself in England really well since he left Holland. So everyone has got a lot of respect for him for what he's done in his career.
"Robin has been very important for the club. It's hard for strikers to score in every game and to finish off every chance that they get.
"It's not like that in football. The opponents always know the quality of the strikers so, if van Persie is scoring, a lot of other teams will be marking him with two defenders and making it hard for him to score.
"But it doesn't matter as he's then taking a lot of attention away from the defenders and, if someone else scores, as they have been doing, then it's okay."