The top three selling Premier League shirts all belong to Manchester United players (for now)

The annual list of the Premier League's top 10 best selling shirts has been released and, as always, it gives a bit of insight into what does (and doesn't) affect the popularity of individual players. Here's the list for the 2012/13 season:

1. Robin van Persie (Manchester United)
2. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
3. Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United)
4. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
5. Fernando Torres (Chelsea)
6. Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
7. Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
8. Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
9. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
10. Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)

The first thing you'll notice is that the Manchester clubs account for all of the top four and Manchester United specifically has the top three on lockdown. At least, as long as Wayne Rooney (who is the top shirt seller in Premier League history) doesn't leave the club. Fernando Torres remains in the top five despite scoring just eight Premier League goals last season (and six the season before that), showing that a drop in form doesn't necessarily impact fans' loyalty to an individual player. Nor does being found guilty of racial abuse and a second biting incident since Luis Suarez is also on the list at No. 7.

Noticeably absent from the list is PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale, perhaps suggesting that Real Madrid could be overvaluing his commercial appeal with their potentially record setting pursuit of him. Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, meanwhile, have both dropped off the list even though Gerrard remains the No. 2 shirt seller within the UK.

To put this top 10 into a bit of context, here's the list from the 2010/11 season:

1. Wayne Rooney (up 2 spots from previous season)
2. Fernando Torres (-1)
3. Steven Gerard (-1)
4. Chicharito (new entry)
5. Robin van Persie (re-entry, No. 7 in 2007/08)
6. Frank Lampard (unchanged)
7. Didier Drogba (unchanged)
8. Luis Suarez (new entry)
9. Andrei Arshavin (-4)
10. Ryan Giggs (new entry)

Yes, Andrei Arshavin. How quickly things change.