Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he decided to bring Eric Cantona to Manchester United after hearing his own players talk about him while somewhat bizarrely joining the squad for a post-game bath, the Daily Mirror report.
The Frenchman was part of the Leeds side that went on to win the First Division title in 1992, and looked set to be an important part of Howard Wilkinson’s plans the following season, scoring a hat-trick in both the Charity Shield win over Liverpool, and a league game against Tottenham.
And Ferguson revealed in his new book that it was a rare appearance in the bath that led to one of the most pivotal transfers in Premier League history (via Mirror).
“After a game against Leeds United in 1992, I was in the bath with the players, which was highly unusual for me,” he stated.
“Listening to their analysis of the match, Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister were raving about Eric Cantona, the French striker Leeds had signed from Nimes. Steve Bruce was particularly complimentary about Cantona’s abilities.
“Somehow, those comments planted a seed, which soon afterwards led us to signing Eric from Leeds United. And we all know how that turned out! Listening, even just for a few moments, led to a decision that changed the landscape for Manchester United,” he added.
The maverick playmaker is often viewed as the catalyst behind the Red Devils’ success having moved to Old Trafford shortly after the beginning of the Premier League era, and helping them to their first league title since 1967, months later.
And he would continue to be the talisman until his surprise retirement in 1997. In that time, he would win three more league titles, as well as the FA Cup on two occasions.
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