Alex Ferguson has revealed that he almost never signed Eric Cantona for Manchester United as the striker was second choice after Peter Beardsley who was playing for Everton at the time. A replacement striker was needed for Dion Dublin who had recently broken his leg.
Cantona enjoyed a very successful career at Manchester United although it was somewhat blighted by his bad behavior. He won four Premier League titles in five years as well as two FA Cups. He was banned from the game for eight months after aiming a kung-fu style kick into the crowd at Crystal Palace after being sent off by the referee. He was known equally for his short temper as for his talents as a footballer.
He remains an extremely popular figure amongst Manchester United fans who have given him the affectionate nickname 'King Eric'. Inside United magazine voted him Manchester United's greatest ever player and he still enjoys iconic status at the club.
It has to be questioned whether Eric Cantona would have enjoyed so much success in his footballing career if the move to Manchester United had never come about. Manchester United were arguably the most successful team in the Premier League throughout the 1990s and Cantona played a large part in this success. Whether he would have achieved this success playing for another team is definitely a matter for debate.