Manchester United

Meet forgotten member of Man Utd treble squad who only played 4 times for club

Very few people knew who Erik Nevland was when he was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for Manchester United.

In 1997, the Red Devils were linked with the likes of Juninho and Marcel Desailly as they looked to bolster their title-winning squad with top quality players.

They ended up with Teddy Sheringham, Henning Berg and 19-year-old Nevland from Norwegian club Viking Stavanger – a player who had netted five goals in fourteen top flight matches.

But despite the inevitable comparisons with fellow Norwegian and United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who had joined a year earlier, Nevland wouldn’t have anywhere near the same impact at Old Trafford.

Erik Nevland was signed by Manchester United as a teenager in 1997

Nevland caught the eye of scouts with several memorable performances during his trial at United, having reportedly netted a succession of hat-trick across his three games.

That prompted the Premier League champions to offer him a four-year contract, but unfortunately for Sir Alex, he got it wrong on that occasion.

The forward was no baby-faced assassin and it quickly became clear that he was failing to establish himself among greats like Andy Cole.

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The Norwegian forward made just one league appearance for the Red Devils in his three seasons at the club

His first season saw him make just one Premier League appearance when he was brought on as a substitute against Southampton on January 1998.

That would also happen to be the only league appearance of his Red Devils career, though he did appear in a handful of cup ties.

His only goal for the club came the following season where extra-time goals from he and Solskjaer secured a 2-0 win over Bury in the fourth round of the League Cup.

That was as good as it got for Nevland as he was sent back on loan to Viking in 1998 and then IFK Goteborg in 1999, the year his squad-mates secured a remarkable Champions League final win over Bayern Munich.

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After another uneventful season at United, the Norwegian finally returned to Viking on a permanent contract at the end of the 1999/2000 season.

There, he recaptured his goal-scoring form, before making a return to England with Fulham in 2008, where he netted 10 goals in his two-and-a-half years with the west Londoners.

Eight international appearances and a fourth stint with Viking later, Nevland would finally retire from football to become a humble car salesman.

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