Grading the big-name transfers

How have Robin Van Persie, Clint Dempsey and others fared so far?

Originally Published: November 2, 2012
By Joe Prince-Wright | ESPN Insider
Manchester United AP PhotoRobin Van Persie has had a terrific start to the EPL season for Manchester United.

Big bucks were spent over the summer in the English Premier League, as the big four bolstered their squads with the finest talent from across the globe.

In the past, other big-money EPL transfers haven't fared quite as well as Robin Van Persie -- Manchester United's signing of Juan Sebastian Veron, back in 2001, for $45.1 million springs to mind -- with several of this season's big signings yet to justify their huge transfer fees. But if you get the right player to come in over the summer, settle into the squad and bring a new dimension to your play, all of a sudden the money spent seems insignificant.

So just how has van Persie started off his career at Old Trafford? And how have the other big-money EPL transfers of the summer fared so far?

Robin Van Persie

Forking out a whopping $38.5 million for his services, Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United's fans expected big things from van Persie -- and he hasn't disappointed.

In his first 12 games for United, RVP has nine goals. He's also added three assists in the league, to go along with his seven goals in nine EPL appearances.

ESPN Stats & InformationShot chart for Robin Van Persie for 2012-13 EPL season. Soccer balls represent goals.

Van Persie's movement is sublime, as he possesses an innate ability to find space in the box. For his goal against Chelsea last weekend, he twice checked away from Gary Cahill to make a run near post but then hung out at the penalty spot. Defenders were sucked in towards the goal, and the cross found an unmarked van Persie, who hammered it home.

Joe Prince-Wright is a freelance writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is a former college soccer player and now plays for Arbroath FC in the Scottish Second Division. He's covered the English Premier League, Serie A, Major League Soccer and the U.S. national team for several years.