Sir Alex Ferguson "would love" Robin van Persie to top last season's tally of 37 goals and believes that Manchester United's chances of success this season could depend on the Dutchman and Wayne Rooney both proving prolific.
The pair were the top scorers in the Premier League last season and scored 72 goals in all competitions between them, with Rooney, 26, getting 35 for United.
The England international is yet to open his account for the current campaign but Van Persie, 29, has seven goals in six starts since leaving Arsenal for Old Trafford.
The Netherlands international enjoyed a career-best goal return last season and Ferguson hopes he can improve upon it this year.
"I would love that to happen," Ferguson said. "The refreshing thing for me is Robin's doing extra work in training because he's not had many pre-season games.
"It's quite remarkable considering he's got seven goals. I'm pleased with that and I think his fitness will improve even more."
Rooney has made two starts since returning after sustaining a deep gash to his thigh in August's 3-2 win over Fulham.
But he could begin a league game for the first time since United's August 20 defeat to Everton when they travel to Newcastle on Sunday.
And Ferguson hopes that he can join his team-mate Van Persie as a regular on the scoresheet.
"I think that, in my experience, where we are at the moment you need two strikers who are going to get you over 20 goals a season," Ferguson said. "If you get that, you definitely have a really good chance."
Rooney created both of Van Persie's two goals in Tuesday's 2-1 Champions League win over Cluj, but while the Dutchman only has one assist for United, Ferguson believes his new signing is just as capable of being a supplier as a scorer.
"He is a good passer of the ball," he added. "I think he's got good vision in his passing, too. The goal he made last week for [Shinji] Kagawa against Tottenham is evidence of his passing ability."