4. Andy Cole (Newcastle United, £7m), 10 January 1995
In January of 1995, Manchester United broke the bank to pay a whopping 7m for the services of Cole, making him the most expensive British transfer. It's rare that January signings adapt seamlessly and become heroes within weeks of their arrival, merely because they don't get enough time to gel with the rest of the team like summer transfers. However, Andy Cole defied all odds and hit the ground running immediately. On his debut, he scored the lone goal for United in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa. The talismanic hit five goals past Ipswich keeper days later in a 9-0 win to become the first player in the EPL history to score five goals in a single game. That 9-0 win is also in the record books for the largest margin of victory over a team in the EPL.
Cole would go on to score 11 Premier League goals in 18 appearances in the second half of the 1995/96 season, his contribution helped to wrestle the title away from his former club Newcastle who was in the driver’s seat for back-to-back titles. The following season was marred with injuries and illness but that was not enough to stop the Nottingham-born striker from clinching his third straight title and second with Manchester United.
Manchester United scooped up Dwight Yorke from Aston Villa for the 1998/99 season and the two formed a magical strike force that drove fear in opposition defenders. Cole and Yorke scored 35 goals in the league between them as United stormed unstoppably to the Treble. Yorke’s craft and strength, Cole’s pace and predatory instincts unforgettably combined at Nottingham Forest in February 1999 in an 8-1 win, memorable also for a four-goal substitute cameo from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Of his 121 goals in total for the club he scored 24 in 1999 the infamous treble season making Manchester United the first English club to achieve the feat.
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