Only Virgil van Dijk from the current Liverpool team would get into Manchester United’s 1999 Treble-winning side, says their former assistant manager Steve McClaren
- Steve McClaren was assistant to Alex Ferguson during United’s Treble season
- United won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999
- The current Liverpool team are drawing comparisons to that United vintage
- But McClaren believes only Virgil van Dijk would get into the Treble-winning side
- Van Dijk would team up with Jaap Stam in an ‘invincible’ all-Dutch partnership
The former England manager was assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson as United won an unprecedented triple crown of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League that season.
That legendary side is now increasingly being compared to Jurgen Klopp‘s current Liverpool team, who are sweeping all before them on their way to their first league title in 30 years.
Only Virgil van Dijk of the current Liverpool team would get into Manchester United’s Treble winners from 1999, according to Steve McClaren
McClaren (second right) was assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson back in 1999
But asked on Sky Sports whether any of the present Liverpool players could break into United’s Treble team, McClaren started - and finished - with the Dutchman.
Van Dijk would be partnered with Jaap Stam in a formidable all-Dutch centre-half pairing in front of Peter Schmeichel in goal. Van Dijk would replace either Ronny Johnsen or Wes Brown in the United team.
Gary Neville would stay at right-back with Denis Irwin on the left side. The four in midfield from left to right would be Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and David Beckham.
And despite the temptation to include Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino, McClaren opted to stick with the prolific partnership of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.
Jaap Stam was a formidable presence in Manchester United’s defence during their Treble year
Ronny Johnsen (left), pictured in the 1999 final, would be the one to make way for Van Dijk
McClaren said: ‘Virgil van Dijk next to Jaap Stam, that would be invincible. Nobody would get past them.
‘But for me, seriously, only Van Dijk would get into that team.
‘When you look at that Manchester United team, that is leadership throughout the whole team, and leadership was the key.
‘Liverpool are developing that now.’
Manchester United celebrate winning the Champions League to complete their Treble triumph
It does seem difficult to improve that vintage United side, who won the Champions League thanks to a stoppage-time goal by current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against Bayern Munich.
But they only clinched the league title ahead of Arsenal on the final day of the season, a contrast to Liverpool, whose coronation is only a matter of time given their 22-point lead.
HOW MCCLAREN’S TEAM WOULD LINE UP