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Transfers that have made a difference for Manchester United: Teddy Sheringham

The series continues with a look at another man that made a big difference in his time at Old Trafford. That man is Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheringham. His name forever etched into folklore with THAT goal in Barcelona. But more on that later.

Sheringham started his career in 1982 as a 16-year-old at Leytonstone and Ilford. It was there he caught the eye of Millwall, where he stayed from 1983 until 1991. Enjoying loan spells at Aldershot Town and IF Djugardens in Sweden, Sheringham left Millwall with a very impressive 106 goals in 249 games, helping his side to the First Division and a tenth place finish. In 1991, Nottingham Forest came calling and parted with £2 million for his services. In his season and a bit at Forest, Sheringham managed 21 goals in 56 games as partner to Nigel Clough. Soon enough the big boys came knocking, and Tottenham Hotspur signed the striker for £2.1 million in August 1992. He went on to score 99 goals in 197 games (just better than a goal every two games) from 1992 to 1997 which prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to pay £3.5 million as a possible replacement for Eric Cantona.

United Career

In a career spanning four seasons, Sheringham notched 46 goals in 145 games in all competitions for the Red Devils. Though it wasn’t always plain sailing for the man affectionately known as Teddy. Seen as a replacement for the seemingly irreplaceable Eric Cantona, he never quite emulated the brilliant Frenchman. His debut for the club saw him face a hostile return to White Hart Lane, where at 0-0 Sheringham missed a penalty. United went on to win thanks to two late goals to save his blushes. He scored 14 goals in all competitions in 1997/98 but found himself on the receiving end of some stick due to his failure to produce Cantona-esque miracles. It was a trophyless season, but all that was about to change.

1998/99 saw him slide down the pecking order behind Andy Cole (with whom he shared a tumultuous relationship, rumours state they still haven’t spoken to this day following an incident in a game against Bolton Wanderers in 1998), Dwight Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He still had his part to play mind. With just five goals in 26 games, it was hardly prolific but two of the goals helped on the road to making history. One in the FA Cup final against Newcastle (his first club goal at Wembley) in the 2-0 triumph. And then, of course, was his crowning moment. The commentary still plays through my head, I still get goosebumps. Ryan Giggs shoots 30 seconds into injury time and Sheringham makes sure it finds the corner. A minute and a half later he was playing assists, flicking a David Beckham corner into the path of the deadly Scandinavian to prod home the winning goal. He may not have been Cantona, but this was more than enough to forget that.

1999/00 was similarly disappointing with regards to goals. A paltry six in 36 games with first team chances again limited. He played enough to earn his second Premier League medal in two years mind. The story was the same in 2000/01, but with more goals to write home about. 21 in 42 to be exact, including a hat-trick against Southampton in a 5-0 thumping. His best form in his career earned him both the PFA and Writers player of the year and kept him in the International fold. At the end of the season, he was to depart United and return to Tottenham on a free transfer, rejecting a one-year extension in Manchester.

Not quite the Messiah, but always loved for his part in the Treble and all round character. Sheringham may not quite be a legend, but he did come to United and win it all. Oh Teddy, Teddy.

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