Dwight Yorke believes that Robin van Persie has been the standout performer for Manchester United so far this season, with the striker scoring the winner on numerous occasions to help his team top the table.

Van Persie's purchase in the summer raised the eyebrows of some, with the Red Devils already boasting a plethora of strikers and looking much more vulnerable in the midfield area.

But his move has proven yet another stroke of genius by Sir Alex Ferguson, given the Dutch star has scored 12 goals for United so far and is currently joint-top scorer in the Premier League.

And Yorke, who was a member of the famed four-pronged attacking unit which brought United the treble in 1999, says that van Persie's performances have been nothing short of outstanding.

"You have to look at Robin as being our player of the season so far," Yorke told the United website. "He's come with a big reputation and on the back of a fantastic year of goalscoring for Arsenal and he's carried that on here. And he's been able to stay fit which has been key.

Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie has been Manchester United's best player so far, Dwight Yorke claims.

"He's been scoring on a regular basis which has been great to see - when you're a striker it doesn't matter how well you play, you're always judged on goals and he's been firing them in this season. He's been outstanding."

United entered the season as underdogs to beat Manchester City to the title, but the Old Trafford club have asserted their dominance in the league so far, and their 3-2 win over their cross-town rivals sealed their position as favourites to secure the championship in May.

And Yorke has been particularly impressed with the club's performances so far, saying that United are now in prime position as the season enters its defining period.

"Things have gone pretty well so far this season," he explained. "To be six points ahead at this stage of the season is a good achievement, but the manager knows how important it is to maintain that advantage over the Christmas period and make sure we're on top.

"It's great that we've had players coming back from injuries, particularly Nemanja Vidic and, overall, I think the team is looking stronger and stronger and competition for places is very healthy. This is the time of year when teams at the top look to kick on and take some momentum into the second half of the season - hopefully we can do that."