Leaving Leeds United for Manchester United in November 1992, maverick talent Eric Cantona sparked something of a revolution at Old Trafford.
If he was not the cause of Manchester United’s domination of English football throughout the 1990s and 2000s, he was at least a catalyst.
Arriving in England part way through the 1991-92 season, Cantona didn’t find the back of the net often but did manage to influence enough of the 15 games that he played for Leeds that he is seen as a significant reason they lifted the First Division title, meaning they were the title holders heading into the inaugural Premier League season.
That November he joined Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, who were seventh before the Frenchman made his debut. They won 17 of their last 25 matches, and Cantona was a champion again. He was the first player in the history of English football to win back-to-back titles with different clubs.
Fast-forward 13 years and the feat hasn’t been replicated, but it could be before too much longer.
Last season, Petr Čech won his fourth Premier League title with Chelsea before swapping west London for north London. A key part of Arsène Wenger’s charge for glory, Čech’s man of the match display against Stoke City at the weekend sent Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League. Chelsea, meanwhile, languish just above the relegation zone.
The scene is perfectly set for Sunday, when Arsenal and Čech face the goalkeeper’s former employers at the Emirates Stadium. The 33-year-old is targeting a win against his old side as he looks to go one step closer to emulating what Cantona achieved.
Last time Arsenal won the league was just before Čech arrived at Stamford Bridge. How perfect if he is, ultimately, the man who brings the title back to north London.