Andrei Kanchelskis

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Andrei Kanchelskis : biography

23 January 1969 –

Kanchelskis was United’s leading goalscorer in the 1994–95 season with 15 goals in 32 games (14 of them in the Premier League), but missed the final few weeks of the season due to a hernia and during that time United surrendered the league title to Blackburn and the FA Cup to Everton. United were also without the suspended Eric Cantona (who was banned for eight months after he assaulted a spectator against Crystal Palace in late January), while Andy Cole was cup-tied for the FA Cup games.

His highlight of the 1994–95 season came on 10 November 1994, when he scored a hat-trick for United in their 5–0 home win over neighbours City in the Manchester derby. He had also found the net twice against Blackburn Rovers in a crucial match at Ewood Park on 24 October which United won 4-2.

Kanchelsksis had played 145 times for United and scored 48 goals in the space of four years, but he had fallen out with manager Alex Ferguson earlier in the season and failed to patch up his differences with the manager. He was promptly put on the transfer list in early July, and on his departure, he was eventually replaced on the right-hand side of United’s midfield by David Beckham.

Everton

Bryan Robson made an unsuccessful bid to sign Kanchelskis for Middlesbrough when it was announced that United would be selling him, and there was also speculation that he would sign for Liverpool. In the end, Kanchelskis was sold to Everton just after the start of the 1995–96 season. The £5 million fee paid by manager Joe Royle made him Everton’s biggest signing at the time.

His first season with the club saw him score 16 goals to cap a season of excellent performances which made him arguably the best right-winger in the country. He rapidly gained cult status with Everton fans especially after his two goals against rivals Liverpool at Anfield and his performances helped the club to a sixth place finish, their best finish since 1988, though it wasn’t quite enough to secure a UEFA Cup place. Before Kanchelskis had been able to reproduce that form in his second season he was sold mid-way through for £8 million to Fiorentina.

Later career

After struggling to make an impact in Italy, he later went on to play for Rangers (1998–2002), Manchester City (2001) (on loan, scoring once in the FA Cup against Liverpool), Southampton (2003), Al-Hilal (2003), FC Saturn Moscow (2004–2005), and Krylia Sovetov (2006). Whilst playing over 70 games for the Ibrox side, he only showed glimpses of his earlier career success, and found himself yet again on the fringes of the first team.

After leaving Krylia Sovetov he was without a contract and despite expressing interest in continuing playing, he retired on 12 February 2007. He played his last competitive game on 25 November 2006 in Round 30 of the Russian League.

Honours

Club

Shakhtar Donetsk
  • USSR Cup (1): 1990
Manchester United
  • Premier League (2): 1992–93, 1993–94
  • FA Cup (1): 1993–94
  • Football League Cup (1): 1991–92
  • FA Charity Shield (2): 1993, 1994
  • European Super Cup (1): 1991
Rangers
  • Scottish Premier League (2): 1998–99, 1999–2000
  • Scottish Cup (3): 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2001–02
  • Scottish League Cup (2): 1998–99, 2001–02

Post-playing career

In 2007, Kanchelskis became the sporting director of Russian 1st division football club FC Nosta Novotroitsk. After Nosta was relegated to the third-tier Russian Second Division, Kanchelskis was appointed in December 2009 as the manager of FC Torpedo-ZIL Moscow. For 2011 season, he moved to FC Ufa.

Controversy

In his autobiography, Managing My Life, Alex Ferguson alleged that he was offered a £40,000 bribe to sell Kanchelskis. When this was refused, he claimed that death threats were made to Martin Edwards, the chairman of Manchester United at the time. There was no suggestion that Everton or Kanchelskis were aware of either the bribe or the threats.