Looking back, Van Persie's arrival at Old Trafford last summer was one of the most significant signs Ferguson was thinking of calling time on the most successful career British football has ever known.
After all, for four years he had been preaching the gospel of "value in the market", then all of a sudden he persuaded the Glazer family to spend £24million on a 29-year-old who only had a year left on his contract with Arsenal. Given what had gone before, it was bordering on reckless.
But Ferguson knew the quality he was getting, just as he soon discovered the fierce team ethic that drives the Dutchman, who, barring Gareth Bale smashing the Premier League record for most goals in a game tomorrow, will be crowned Golden Boot winner for the second season running.
Despite all the glory that has been heaped on Van Persie's shoulders over the past nine months, his instinct remains to spread the load.
"This team is unbelievable," Van Persie told MUTV. "Every team of champions starts with a good atmosphere and the idea that every single person wants to share success and everybody wants to play their part in it.
"That is how you achieve big things and win trophies. It is like a puzzle that needs to add up so that in the end, the final puzzle means trophies."