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Cantona, without question. He was the one signing who galvanised the club. Without him they'd have still had a very good set of young players coming through, but he was the talisman,and save an unfortunate leg break that side would've been set-up around Dion Dublin.
Schmeichel, Irwin, even Keane are all great shouts, but it's Cantona. Just is.
When did Eric retire?
if you can't appreciate how vital Cantona was to the revival of that club then there's no point us really carrying on this conversation.
"Best signing" can be interpreted in different ways.
he was pivotal in establishing Man U where they are now
Absolute bargain, some amazing performances on the very biggest occasions (Bergkamp penalty save in the FA cup semi) captain in Barca). One of the best keepers in history.
That penalty save rates as one of the biggest moments in Fergie's career, to me. Bergkamp scores = no chance for that Giggs goal, so when we go 2-0 down against Juve there's maybe not the sense of belief that we can beat anyone, come back from anything. The disappointment of losing two semis carries over to the league. Arsenal win the double again. United's history is completely different. [Or maybe not]
Loads of brilliant teams fail because they have a dodgy keeper. Saving a couple of goals a game is basically the same as scoring a goal, so many 1-0 wins could have been draws or defeats without him.
Eventually Fergie had to swallow his pride and just nick a good one from another Premier League team.
He was a steal as well. Certainly the best keeper who played under Ferguson at Utd
1. Schmeichal - cost peanuts, become one of the greatest keepers ever, gave them a solidity at the back which permeated confidence through the team
2. Cantona - As well as being a catalyst for winning them the title, he was more than that. He embodied a style and attitude to pretty much defined Man Utd
3. Ronaldo - Signed as a rough diamond, become one of the greatest players in the world. Not often you buy a player for £12.5m and sell him at a 540% mark up
4. Keane - he's such a cunt that you often forget he was a bloody brilliant player
5. Van Nistelrooy - yeah he didn't offer a great deal around the park and was a bit of a prick, but he scored an absolute fuck ton of goals that won them a lot of trophies
runners up places for Keane, Irwin, Stamm, Rio, Ronaldo and Van Nistelroy
Barthez? Djemba-Djemba? Bebe? David Bellion?
£7m on a homeless semi pro player who was available for free mere months before? Didn't know they made brown envelopes that big
Because of the brown envelope factor.
Taibi, Ralphie Milne, Jordi Cryuff?
played one game. united got whacked. sent back the next day
200k from Torquay Utd