United's unprecedented striking options

Sunday 09 June 2024 17:59

With it being 25 years since the unforgettable Treble triumph in 1999, I have found myself pondering the wealth of attacking options available to Alex Ferguson.

The Reds could rotate between Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Dwight Yorke throughout the season and each played their part in securing the three pieces of silverware.

As top strikers are almost at a premium in football in 2024, with most teams abandoning the idea of playing a formation with two up front, it is surely something that we cannot expect to see again for some time.

Perhaps Solskjaer rejecting the chance to join Tottenham altered the original plan, as did the fact Cole and Yorke hit it off so famously from the outset, but the fact remains there was an embarrassment of riches in the striking department.

Which of our four Treble-winning strikers is your personal favourite?poll

Which of our four Treble-winning strikers is your personal favourite?

Looking back with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, I wondered which of the quartet was my favourite. Not for their efforts in 1998/99 but throughout their careers at United. Unusually, I found it was a question I was really struggling to answer.

Being honest, I loved them all - and each has been an absolute joy to interview in my time working for the club.

And I found it impossible to place one above the others. So I thought it would be interesting to gauge the view of other supporters on this contentious topic.

For younger fans, surely still aware of the legend of these four sharpshooters, here is a brief reminder of their merits for coming out on top of the poll...


Simply one of the best strikers in Premier League history - only three men have scored more times in the competition. The most surprising of shock signings from Newcastle United in 1995, he silenced any critics by showing his quality at Old Trafford. The goal that won the title, against Tottenham, was a colossal contribution to the conclusion of the Treble term and he lifted nine trophies in his six years with the Reds. His credentials are very difficult to ignore.


An experienced acquisition, effectively tasked with the impossible job of replacing Eric Cantona, the former Spurs striker was such an intelligent centre-forward, who would have shone in any era. Although the 1998/99 season was definitely nowhere near his best, he finished it off by scoring and assisting in the FA Cup final against Newcastle United before netting the dramatic late equaliser against Bayern Munich in Barcelona. Although 33 then, his finest form was still to come as in, 2000/01, he top scored in another title-winning campaign and was voted Footballer of the Year. Such a classy operator, he has remained very popular among the supporters.


The Norwegian is idolised by United fans, immortalised by his winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final. Displaying a selfless attitude and dead-eyed finishing ability, he swiftly emerged as a true bargain buy and was leading scorer in his first season at the club. In 1998/99, he had already bagged an injury-time winner against Liverpool in the FA Cup and hit four goals as a substitute away to Nottingham Forest, before his Nou Camp heroics. The goals kept flowing for the crowd favourite, before he said an emotional goodbye when retiring in 2007. Of course, he returned as manager, initially in caretaker charge in 2019, and is still adored by the supporters. 

Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were great signings for United.


Having failed to land Patrick Kluivert, Ferguson turned to Aston Villa star Yorke and managed to get the deal done before the transfer deadline in the summer of 1998. The Trinidad & Tobago international lit the place up with his beaming smile and made an immediate impact, striking up one of the all-time great forward partnerships with Cole. Surely the best striker across Europe in his debut term as a Red, he top scored for the Treble winners, and proved to be world class. The following season, he bagged 23 goals as Sir Alex's men lifted another title. Despite a rip-roaring return to form with a hat-trick against Arsenal in 2001, he only had four campaigns with United, but must be another popular option in our vote, weighing up his considerable influence.

I found it an impossible choice so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top of our poll!