Manchester United have always had a strong link to the country of Scotland, and according to reports, Erik Ten Hag is looking to build on that relationship with the potential signing of Rangers keeper Robby McCrorie.
The 24-year-old keeper is reportedly on United’s radar with Dean Henderson set to join Nottingham Forest, with McCrorie viewed as a third-choice keeper for Ten Hag with Tom Heaton set to be promoted to second-choice behind David De Gea.
Indeed, United signing McCrorie is an interesting move from Ten Hag, especially since the Scotland international has played just two games ever for Rangers. However, the pending transfer has got us thinking about Red Devil legends with links to the Scottish Premiership.
With Sir Alex Ferguson one of football’s greatest ever managers and the man who built United into what they are today, Scotland has always played a huge role in the club’s history, and here are five players who became icons at Old Trafford with links to SPL.
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Signed by Frank O’Farrell in 1972 for a then club-record fee of £120,000, Martin Buchan was part of the Manchester United squad that were infamously relegated to the Second Division in 1974, with the Scottish defender becoming captain a year later.
Making over 450 appearances for United, the former Aberdeen lifted the FA Cup in 1977 in an 11-year career at Old Trafford, with Buchan still regarded by many fans of a certain age as an icon and a key part of the club’s history before the arrival of Ferguson in 1986.
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Another member of the Manchester United squad that was relegated to the second tier, Lou Macari joined the English giants from Celtic initially as an attacker before the Scotland international was morphed into a midfielder under Tommy Docherty.
Seeing his deflected shot go in against Liverpool in the 1977 FA Cup final to deny the Reds the treble United would win over twenty years later, Macari bagged 97 goals in total for the Manchester side before spending his final years at Swindon Town, where the Scotsman would then go on to become a manager and coach the likes of West Ham and Celtic.
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One of the few players to cross the Manchester United/Leeds United divide and arguably the only one to still be respected by both fan bases, Gordon Strachan made the move down south in 1984 after impressing for Ferguson’s Aberdeen in which the pair won an SPL title and the European Cup Winners Cup.
Strachan would continue his run of winning silverware in his first year with United in the form of the 1985 FA Cup before the Scottish internationally moved to Leeds in 1988, where the midfielder would guide the Whites to the First Division title in 1992, the last one before the creation of the Premier League the following season.
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One of Manchester United’s best players before the advent of the Premier League, Brain ‘Choccy’ McClair won a move to England after bagging 126 goals in just 204 appearances for Celtic, with the striker bringing his finishing abilities with him.
The striker bagged 31 goals in his first year with United with McClair hitting two more 20+ goal seasons with the Red Devils. Although the attacker was mainly a squad player during Ferguson’s monstrous reign in the Premier League, the forward was content with the role as the Scotsman won four titles and a European Cup Winners’ Cup.
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Arguably the greatest captain in Manchester United’s history and one of the best midfielders in Premier League history, Roy Keane remains one of the most successful players in Red Devils’ history, with the Republic of Ireland star winning seven league titles during his time at Old Trafford .
Following his 13-year career at United, Keane made the move north to Scotland to join Celtic, the club supported the midfielder as a kid growing up in Cork, where the Premier League legend won the domestic double in his only season with the hoops.
Football journalist and 2018 Sport Journalism graduate from the University of Brighton.
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