Former Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards has revealed the club’s best signings, in his opinion, under his leadership.
Edwards was the club’s chairman for 22 years from 1980 to 2002 meaning he was heavily involved during Sir Alex Ferguson’s rewarding reign.
The Red Devils were hugely successful for the majority of the time Martin was chairman and although much of that success has been attributed to the management, the chairman surely deserves some praise too.
Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t join United until 1986, six years into Edwards tenure and the pair had a fruitful relationship that brought the best out of the club.
Martin was on the club’s tv channel, MUTV, and was responding to questions on Manchester United’s best buys during the time he served the club.
The former chairman said: “I’d have to have Cantona in there. Just look at the time he was there. We won the league four of the five years, we did two doubles.
Peter Schmeichel, £505,000, absolute bargain when you think of what he did in the eight years he was there, what we won. Five titles, we won the Champions League. FA Cup a few times. Unbelievable.
Denis Irwin. £700,000. Again, eight or nine years, I think he got seven championship medals. Part of that huge success. Great player, very rarely had a bad game.
Bryan Robson, £1.5million…But captained us to three FA Cup finals, a couple of leagues, was really the main player at a time before United really hit the headlines, before they became a great side.
Roy Keane fantastic midfield player, something like seven championship medals, FA Cup winner, captained us, took over the captaincy from Bryan Robson, probably took over that midfield from Bryan Robson.”
No real surprises from Martin Edwards and signings hardly anyone would disagree with but there are perhaps some surprise absences.
Either way, the Red Devils were clearly hugely blessed with some serious talent at Old Trafford for many decades regardless of who was in charge.
Top players always seemed to find their way to Manchester United with the club’s on field success helping lure them in.
Off-field success has also simultaneously helped bring in the world’s best with sponsorships and merchandise sales playing just as big a part as any.
The players Martin has selected were all big characters too, not just talented players and it just shows how important a footballer’s personality can make at a club.
In recent memory, arguably Zlatan Ibrahimovic is similar to the players mentioned above in terms of what bringing him in did to the club.
While he still has more to prove, it can be argued that the Swede had a huge role in helping turn around United’s fortunes during a poor period for the club.
He certainly has some way to go before being amongst the players mentioned above but there’s no harm in tossing his name in there as well.
The intimidating striker has been touted for an early return from his horrible injury and may just have a chance to lead United to glory this season.