Top five: Manchester United strikers of the Ferguson era
Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wayne Rooney & Andy Cole are some of the greatest strikers that have worked under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United
Manchester United are one of the European footballing giants.
For well over two decades now they have dominated the English game and are the most successful side of the Premier League era bar none. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has fashioned teams into Championship-winning sides consistently and has produced some of football’s most exciting and entertaining moments in recent history.
Manchester United are now on their way towards their 20th Premier League title and would surely be celebrating winning the title come the end of May barring a miracle recovery from Manchester City.
A team’s calibre is always measured by its ability to score goals and win matches; Manchester United have been blessed with an abundance of naturally gifted goalscorers over the past decade or two.
Here we discuss some of the best strikers ever to don a Manchester United shirt. The strikers here were assessed on the number of goals scored for the Red Devils and the number of matches played.
5. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is one of the most beloved players to ever pull on the red shirt of Manchester United. The man dubbed the "baby-faced assassin" is most remembered for his now historic contribution that changed Manchester United as a football club.
Often likened to modern day striker Javier Hernandez because of his boyish looks, humility and super-sub status, Solskjaer will be a legend that fans who watched him play will never forget. It was a pity that Ole's career was cut short by a knee injury, but he was already inscribed in the history books as a legend. Ole managed to score 126 goals in 366 appearances.
4. Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes might have featured more prominently in the record books and been higher up this ranking if he'd been in the current United squad.
A courageous striker for both Manchester United and Wales, he went on to score 167 times in 463 appearances in his two stints at United. The stats do not reflect upon the influence Hughes had on his team-mates as a leader who used to work tirelessly for the team. In many ways Hughes’ playing ability is similar to current United striker Wayne Rooney.
3. Andy Cole
Andy Cole is today a footballing ambassador for Manchester United but will be most remembered by the United fans for scoring some great goals for the club. A model professional, Cole was another complete striker who formed one of the most deadly strike partnerships with Dwight Yorke in all of Europe at the time. During his time at Old Trafford, Cole made goalscoring look easy.
When Sir Alex Ferguson brought him from Newcastle to Old Trafford his credentials were questions by some sections of the United faithful, but after 121 goals in 275 matches for United no one could doubt his talent.
2. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is the man who is destined to probably wear the England and the Manchester United captains' armband in the not so distant future.
Rooney’s goal-tally reads an impressive 197 goals in 398 matches for United - and it could have been a lot greater had he not been so dedicated to being an excellent team player.
Rooney’s always has an impeccable work ethic and his ability to do a specific job for his team sets him apart from the rest of his team-mates. Another reason why Rooney’s goal-tally is lower is his willingness to sacrifice and work for the team.
With undoubted talents to play anywhere on the pitch, Rooney is rightly regarded as one of the best footballing talents on the planet and it won’t be long when before he leads United’s all-time scoring charts and is regarded as one of the greatest English footballers ever.
1. Ruud van Nistelrooy
Ruud Van Nistelrooy was a goalscoring machine - period. The statistics don’t lie: Ruud’s ability to score goals was second to none.
He will be remembered for his time at Old Trafford as an expert striker who could score goals at will. But his Old Trafford career was marred by controversy at the end after an alleged training ground bust-up with Cristiano Ronaldo. Van Nistelrooy scored an amazing 150 goals in 219 appearances and would have topped the scoring charts had he not been sold to Real Madrid after falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Other notable mentions include United’s legendary striker Eric Cantona, who scored 82 times for Manchester United in 185 appearances; Dwight Yorke, who found the net 65 times in 147 games; Dimitar Berbatov, with 56 goals in 149 matches; Teddy Sheringham, who got 46 goals at United in just 145 matches and present United striker Javier Hernandez, who has 48 goals in 112 appearances.
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.