The Frenchman joined Manchester United 20 years ago this week, and would go on to help restore former past glories to the club, ushering in a period of dominance for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in the Premier League era.
Known to be quite problematic, not everyone was willing to take a risk on Cantona but Schmeichel has praised Sir Alex for bringing Cantona in and getting the best out of the mercurial attacker, something a number of managers before him had failed to do.
Speaking to ManUtd.Com, the Dane said:
“I remember this day, it was a day that changed everything for us players as well. Eric came in and was someone Sir Alex knew was going to do really well here. His managing speaks volumes again in his ability to manage Eric really well. Eric had many clubs before he came and finished his career here having had five years – four brilliant full years.
“Eric came here and changed football. He changed the mentality and changed the way of everything. All the kids we’ve seen grow up with Manchester United from that period, they’ve really benefited from that and you could go and speak to David Beckham, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes about him. They will always point to him as he was the guy.
“That was something Sir Alex saw. No-one else saw it. Trevor Francis had the opportunity at Sheffield Wednesday and he didn’t even give him a chance. Howard Wilkinson took him in but was very, very happy to sell him because he was difficult. But Sir Alex was not like that. For him, he might have been a challenge but he took that challenge and the rest is history.”
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