“Lads, it’s Tottenham.”
Times have changed somewhat since Sir Alex Ferguson’s withering assessment of the North London side, as Manchester United prepare to host Spurs at Old Trafford in the latest meeting between two of English football’s biggest sides.
The Manchester sides decline in recent seasons and subsequent improvement of Spurs has seen the duo perhaps closer than ever before in the Premier League era, a far cry from an era when players would freely swap between the two sides.
We’ve decided to look back at some of those stars to adorn both colours, with five of the best players to play for Manchester United and Tottenham in the Premier League era…
The most successful player to have represented both clubs, Carrick would win every major club honour available during a glittering career at Manchester United, spending 12 seasons at the club and making 464 appearances.
In that time he would form part of five title-winning sides, as well as playing his part in the club’s Champions League success in 2008.
Carrick would arrive at Old Trafford in an £18.6m deal from Tottenham in 2006, the elegant midfielder arriving as a replacement for Roy Keane after spending two seasons with the North London side.
A deep-lying playmaker with a fine passing range, Carrick was criminally overlooked throughout the majority of his international career.
Another player who would shine at Spurs before being tempted north, Bulgarian forward Berbatov was a classy operator who enjoyed a brilliant but brief spell at White Hart Lane.
Having signed from Bayer Leverkusen, Berbatov would score 46 goals in just 102 appearances for the club, including a series of stunners and highlight-reel performances.
His displays would soon attract the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson, who parted with £30.75m to sign the forward, and he would enjoy a largely successful four-year spell at the club.
Berbatov would win two Premier League titles during his spell in Manchester, including winning the division’s Golden Boot during their triumphant 2010/11 campaign.
Signed by Spurs at the beginning of the inaugural Premier League season, Sheringham would enjoy a prolific spell at the club, finishing as the first-ever winner of the division’s Golden Boot following it’s rebranding in 1992.
A hugely popular figure with the club’s fans, he would continue to fire and would hit 75 league goals over five seasons, though the club’s inability to challenge for major honours and his advancing years saw him eventually opt to depart.
Manchester United would come calling for the then 31-year-old, Sheringham tasked with replacing departing icon Eric Cantona.
His spell in Manchester would prove a huge success, however, the experienced forward joining a quarter of attacking talents including Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
In four seasons he would win a host of major honours, including an unprecedented continental treble in 1999, memorably scoring and assisting after coming off the bench in the club’s Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich.
Sheringham would leave the club in 2001 and return to Spurs, scoring 26 times in two seasons during his second spell at the club before joining Portsmouth.
The French forward would feature for a host of Premier League clubs throughout his career, including both Manchester United and Tottenham though he suffered contrasting fortunes at each side.
Having burst onto the English football scene at Fulham, Saha would be tempted to Old Trafford in January 2004, in a deal worth in the region of £12m.
Sir Alex Ferguson had been impressed after seeing Saha plunder 15 goals for Fulham in the first half of the campaign, and added the striker to his impressive ranks already featuring Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney.
He would begin brilliantly by scoring seven times in his first ten starts, but injuries hampered his first full season and he struggled to establish himself as an automatic first-choice.
An improvement in form and the departure of Van Nistelrooy saw Saha feature and score regularly, hitting 42 goals in 124 appearances for the club over four-and-a-half seasons, winning two league titles, a League Cup and the Champions League before joining Everton in 2008.
After four seasons on Merseyside he would head to Spurs on a short-term deal, scoring four times in 12 appearances before being released from his contract.
Ok, so we’re scraping the barrel with this one, but we’ve got a Five of the Best section to fill, so here goes…
The young forward would emerge from United’s hallowed academy ranks, though he would make just two league appearances before a lack of minutes saw him pursue opportunities elsewhere on loan.
One of those loan spells would be at Tottenham, Campbell moving to the North London side on deadline day as part of the record-breaking deal that took Dimitar Berbatov to Old Trafford.
His temporary spell at the club would see him struggle to dislodge the likes of Roman Pavlyuchenko and Darren Bent as a first-choice, though he did score three goals in all competitions including a first-ever Premier League goal against Hull City.
He would return to Manchester United at the end of the season, joining Sunderland the following summer on a permanent deal.