Great Britain

Roy Keane picks Virgil Van Dijk as only Liverpool player to get into the Man Utd 1999 treble-winning side

ROY KEANE believes Virgil van Dijk would be the only current Liverpool star to break into Manchester United's treble-winning side.

The former midfielder, 48, played an integral part in Sir Alex Ferguson's side that won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1998/99.

And with the Reds marching towards a maiden Premier League title - and their fair share of records along the way - he reckons Van Dijk is the single player who could improve that team.

Keane and Jamie Carragher selected their combined XIs on Monday Night Football and certainly had a few differing opinions - but did at least agree on Van Dijk replacing Ronny Johnsen.

Carragher said: "I don't think it's a big decision, put Van Dijk in next to [Jaap] Stam. But who's the best out of those two?"

Keane concurred: "I'm a big fan of Van Dijk. The guy's a machine, but Jaap was a machine, Jaap was fantastic.

"Van Dijk [has] a touch better on the ball. The two of them together you can't imagine conceding too many goals."

Both former Prem stars picked Peter Schmeichel in goal with fellow Manchester United heroes Jaap Stam, Denis Irwin, David Beckham, Keane himself - despite by his own admission being a "very average player" - Paul Scholes and Dwight Yorke in their sides.

And the pair also opted for Liverpool's colossus Van Dijk to partner Stam at the heart of the defence.


But it was at right-back and in attack that they struggled to agree.

The Irishman opted for former team-mate Ryan Giggs on the left with Andy Cole up top alongside Yorke - Carragher, meanwhile, decided to bring in Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to form a deadly front three.

Keane was left stunned when Carragher said: "Giggs is not getting in my team.

"Judging him on the 1999 season, do you know how many goals he scored that season?

"I think Mane is the best left-sided winger in the world. Giggs, one of the best, but I don't think at any stage he was the best."

Giggs managed three league goals in the treble-winning campaign and Keane refused to leave the Welshman out.

He added: "Giggs did it year in, year out. Look what Giggsy did in the semi-final [of the FA Cup], tell me another player on this planet that could've done what he did against Arsenal.

"The key to me is being a consistent player. I've got loyalty towards Giggsy, I don't know Mane."


Keane eventually selected Gary Neville at full-back - not just because he gets Salford tickets for him - while Carragher snubbed his Sky Sports colleague, favouring Liverpool sensation Trent Alexander-Arnold instead.

The ex-United man added: "I'd bring Van Dijk in, maybe the right-back, but leave the rest, 4-4-2. If they go on and win the treble this year, we'll have a different conversation."

Viewers on Twitter chipped in with their own suggestions and reacted to the Keane-Carragher debate.

One said: "Starting XI should be 11 99' Man Utd players, period."

Another wrote: "Ah, nostalgia strikes again. Keane picking his mates is a joke. 103 points from the last 105 available. 76 points already after just 26 games, that United side of 99 won the league on just 79 points."

And a third added: "Bottom line is this current Liverpool team will out run and out score that Man U team."

Steve McClaren joined as Ferguson's assistant at the beginning of 1999 and was at Old Trafford as a coach when they won the treble.

He also picked ten Manchester United players in his combined XI - with Van Dijk the only Kop ace to force his way in.

The ex-England boss 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."

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