Manchester United Strike Partnerships

Dwight Yorke & Andy Cole

Manchester United have had some amazing strike partnerships since the emergence of the Premier League in 1992. Here are some of the best.

We start with possibly the best partnership Manchester United has ever seen, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. Cole brought from Newcastle United in 1995 and Sir Alex Ferguson’s fourth choice striker under Teddy Sheringham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Dwight Yorke. Yorke was brought in 1998 from Aston Villa, the same season this amazing partnership came to fruition. It started with a league fixture against Southampton and Andy Cole was rotated into the team alongside Dwight Yorke and had instant chemistry together and scored 10 goals in the next three games, five against Wimbledon, one against Derby and four against Everton. The two finished the year scoring 51 goals in all competitions in a season that saw Manchester United winning the treble.

The next partnership we are going to talk about is Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney. Van Nistelrooy was brought to Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven in 2001 and Rooney was brought from Everton in 2004. Wayne Rooney was a young prodigy at Everton that showed his class instantly in a Manchester United as in his first season scoring 11 goals in 24 appearances more than any other striker in the squad. Van Nistelrooy scored six goals in 16. However, the next season was when they really gelled as they both scored 37 goals in the league to put them both in the top five league goalscorers for 2005-06.

The penultimate partnership we are going to talk about today started in the 2008-09 season when already established striker Wayne Rooney was put up front alongside new-boy Dimitar Berbatov brought from Spurs that season. In the first season, they played 54 games between each other and scored 21 goals, 12 from Rooney and a respectable nine from Berbatov. The next season with some experience playing with each other, Sir Alex Ferguson gave them more game time with them repaying by scoring 38 goals between them in the league. This partnership lasted for one more year where they scored 31 goals between them 20 of which came from Berbatov. This is the season he had his best game ever in a Manchester United shirt when he scored five against Blackburn Rovers in a 7-1 demolition in November of 2010.

The final pairing I will be talking about today is the pair that ended Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United career with an almighty bang when he put together Manchester United great Wayne Rooney and new signing Robin van Persie. Van Persie had already made a name for himself at Arsenal and came to Old Trafford for £24 million and was an instant superstar scoring 26 goals in 35 games which made him the league top scorer for the second time in a row. Rooney backed him up by scoring 12 goals in 22 games less than usual but he got 11 assists one of which against Aston Villa in April five games before the end of the season which got Manchester United the league title and Van Persie goal of the season with an outside of the box volley.

With such great strike partnerships in the past, we cannot wait to see who is going to be the next two to tear it up in the league.

Written by Nick Gilliver

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