Sir Alex Ferguson: Top 10 Manchester United signings

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Twenty-eight years ago today was one of the most momentous days in the history of Manchester United Football Club: the arrival of Sir Alex Ferguson.

The fiery Scottish manager walked through the doors of Old Trafford for the first time on November 6 1986 and would go on to cement his status as the most successful British football manager of all time.

In total, Ferguson won 38 trophies during his 26-year tenure, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two Champions Leagues and two Club World Cups.

Because of the nature of modern football, it's possible that we'll never see Ferguson's like ever again. He was a one-off, and will go down as one of the most important figures in the Red Devils' 136-year history, alongside the likes of Sir Matt Busby and John Henry Davies, who helped save the club from extinction in 1902.

To mark the anniversary of Ferguson's appointment, we've compiled a list of his 10 best signings as Manchester United manager. Have a scroll through, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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10. Edwin van der Sar | £2m from Fulham

Ferguson's decision to spend £2 million on 34-year-old Edwin van der Sar from Fulham in 2005 was a stroke of genius.

United had been looking for a reliable goalkeeper since Peter Schmeichel's departure in 1999 - and while it took them six years, it was well worth the wait.

Van der Sar won a host of major honours during his six years at Old Trafford, but will be remembered for his vital save from Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka in the 2008 Champions League final.

9. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer | £1.6m from Molde

Ferguson plucked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from Molde in 1996 for the bargain price of £1.6 million.

The popular Norway international was a master of coming off the subs' bench to make an impact. But he was much more than a super-sub.

Solskjaer's place in Manchester United folklore was cemented in 1999, when he scored the famous winning goal in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

8. Rio Ferdinand | £30m from Leeds United

Rio Ferdinand may have cost top dollar to sign from Leeds in 2002, but the classy centre-back was worth every penny.

The former England international won six Premier League titles during his hugely-successful 12-year spell with the Red Devils, before leaving the club last summer.

His formidable partnership with Nemanja Vidic is arguably the best in Premier League history.

7. Ruud van Nistelrooy | £19m from PSV Eindhoven

Ruud van Nistelrooy's relationship with Ferguson may have broken down in his fifth season at Old Trafford, but the Dutch striker is unquestionable one of the Manchester United legend's greatest ever signings.

For £19 million, Van Nistelrooy scored a remarkable 150 goals in 219 appearances. He was an ice-cool finisher and one of the best goalscorers in the history of both the Premier League and Manchester United.

6. Nemanja Vidic | £7m from Spartak Moscow

Rio Ferdinand's rock-solid central defensive partner, Nemanja Vidic, was an absolute bargain at £7 million.

The Serbian, who went on to captain the club, was a true warrior. While Ferdinand may have been the more technically-gifted of the two centre-backs, Vidic was undoubtedly the more courageous and talismanic.

5. Wayne Rooney | £30m from Everton

Only two players in the history of Manchester United have scored more goals for the club than Wayne Rooney, who sits just behind Bobby Charlton and Denis Law on 219 goals.

It now seems certain that the Red Devils' current captain will go on to become the club's record goalscorer - a remarkable achievement which cannot be understated.

Ferguson agreed to pay £30 million for Everton's boy wonder in 2004. Even if United had paid double that, it would have been worth it.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo | £12.25m from Sporting Lisbon

Cristiano Ronaldo will go down in history as one of the greatest footballers of all time - and it was at Manchester United where he went from raw but talented teenager to global superstar.

Ferguson knew he had to sign Ronaldo after watching him in a pre-season friendly against his side in 2003. The Portuguese winger was exceptional.

He went on to score 118 goals in 292 appearances for the Red Devils, before United sold the 2008 Ballon d'Or winner for a £68 million profit to Real Madrid.

3. Roy Keane | £3.75m from Nottingham Forest

Roy Keane's relationship with Ferguson is non-existent these days, but for 12 years they formed an incredibly successful bond at Old Trafford.

The fiery central midfielder, who captained United with aplomb for years, was signed for a modest £3.75 million from Nottingham Forest in 1993.

Arguably the best captain in United's history, Keane won seven Premier League titles, FA Cups and the 1998/99 Champions League.

2. Eric Cantona | £1.2m from Leeds United

Eric Cantona was only at Manchester United for five years, but during that time he won four Premier League titles.

An inspired £1.2 million signing for Leeds United, the French forward was precisely what United required at that time - a player capable of brilliance, a leader, and a match-winner.

A Manchester United legend, Cantona's name is still sung around Old Trafford today.

1. Peter Schmeichel | £750,000 from Brondby

Peter Schmeichel is the best goalkeeper of the Premier League era and probably the best keeper in Manchester United's entire history.

The great Dane cost less than £1 million to sign in 1991 and went on to guard United's net during one of the most remarkable periods in the club's history.

Would Ferguson have been so successful without the reliable Schmeichel in goal? Even the great man himself would concede that he might have struggled a little more.

Manchester United
Edwin Van der Sar
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Peter Schmeichel
Nemanja Vidic
Eric Cantona
Wayne Rooney
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Roy Keane
Alex Ferguson
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Rio Ferdinand

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