Pelle has already scored six goals in the Premier League this seasonReuters

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal said he is not taken aback after seeing Southampton striker Graziano Pelle do well in the Premier League, insisting that the Italian's playing style is similar to Robin van Persie's.

The 29-year-old striker, who moved from Dutch side Feyenoord to Southampton for a transfer fee of a reported £8 million this summer, has already managed to establish himself in the Premier League, netting six goals from 11 appearances for the Saints so far.

And van Gaal, who has worked with Pelle in AZ Alkmaar, said he is not surprised to see the Italian do well in his debut season in England.

"I am not surprised [at his success] because I bought him at AZ as he was an attacking point," van Gaal told ESPN, ahead of Manchester United's clash against Southampton on Monday.

Furthermore, the former Barcelona boss feels that there are similarities between the playing style of Pelle and van Persie.

"I've said about Van Persie that I like strikers who are an attacking point, not only a striker who scores goals. He [Pelle] is also very creative. He is always seeing the third man. Van Persie is also always seeing the third man."

"Those kind of strikers are the ones I like. So it is not surprising. It may be surprising that he scores nine goals - that is a lot - but he can do it. I knew that."

Meanwhile, van Gaal now feels that United, who have been very unlucky with injuries this season, are right on track to making a return to the Champions League in the next campaign.

"We are going the right way despite the injuries we've had, we are at the right way. I think the main important thing is that the players want to follow the philosophy which is why despite the many changes we could continue," he added.

"I could have chosen other clubs but this was the challenge for me and why I am here. But I know of course it is a big challenge, not so easy, but I accept that."